Trick Eye Museum in Seoul

Getting tricked is probably the last thing you want to happen to you when traveling. But not in Hongdae.

Smack in the middle of this youthful Seoul district is a museum. Here, visitors come for the tricks.

I did not intend to be here at the time. I was lost. I had been for about 20 minutes. I was supposed to go to the Coffee Prince Coffee Shop when I stumbled upon a large river of humanity flooding an alley of Hongik-ro. After squeezing through the crowd, I took a turn and found what I was set to visit much later that night. In front of me was the Trick Eye Museum. And in an attempt to dodge the swarm, I went inside.

Trick Ice Museum at the Homi Atelier
Trick Ice Museum at the Homi Atelier

The first to greet me was a man in the wall. And he was asking for a hug. He grabbed me, that man. How dare he!

No free hugs! Get off my back!
Seriously, man! Get off my back!

Trompe-L’oeil

Such an intimidating word, trompe-l’oeil. It literally means deceive the eye. And deceive the eye is exactly what the Trick Eye Museum does. It showcases the art technique of trompe-l’oeil, using realistic imagery to create optical illusions that fool viewers into thinking that the pieces have come to life. Unlike in conventional museums, visitors are not just allowed to touch the art pieces. They are encouraged to even be the subject, making this a highly interactive gallery.

The lobby is distinctly Greek. And why wouldn’t it? It is part of the Seoul Santorini Gallery, a cultural complex in the basement of Homi Atelier, an art supplies store.  Just by the entrance is a Greek-style cafe, and an educational room for Greek mythology is also located here.

Care for a cup of coffee?
Care for a cup of coffee?

But Greece faded into wonderland as soon as I made it past the entrance. Inside the museum’s first zone, world-famous two-dimensional paintings transform to three-dimensional installations for the camwhoring amusement of its visitors. What was I to do? I prepped my camera, and did what I was there for — get vain and all.

Here are the products of my hour-long affair with my camera inside the Trick Eye Museum.

So this is art...
So this is art…
I should've bared my chest a little too...
I should’ve bared my chest a little too…
Nganga.
Nganga.
Getting naughty...
Getting naughty…
A wild animal and a panda. And the dinosaur.
A wild animal and a panda. And the dinosaur.
giant fish swallow human
Yeah, spit me out! You, fishy you!
Konting acting pa.
Konting acting pa.
You got the wrong hobbit, Dragon!
You got the wrong hobbit, Dragon!
If you don't move, you get fat...
If you don’t move, you get fat…
I wish it were real...
For take out, please!
Obama's calling!
Obama’s calling!
I'm sexy and I know it!
I’m sexy and I know it!
Mwahahaha
Mwahahaha
The Wicked Witch stole my bodeeeeh!
The Wicked Witch stole my bodeeeeh!

The lights were installed at strategic corners so the images would look flawless from certain angles. Make sure you’re at the right spots when taking the pictures.

Ice Museum: Eye Tricks to Ice Treats

The 15,000-won admission fee covers entrance to the adjacent Ice Museum. It is small, and it can get really crowded inside. (I found myself battling fellow little kids for my five-second turn for a photo-op with each piece. Haha. Not really. Sort of.)

Because it's not cold enough outside...
Because it’s not FREEZING enough outside…
Chill, people.
Chill, people.
I wanted to do this too, but the kids won't let me. LOL.
I wanted to do this too, but the kids won’t let me. LOL.
An icy kitchen and living room
An icy kitchen and living room
My cool ride and icy piano.
My cool ride and icy piano.

It did not feel any less cold outside. The freezing weather had kicked in and the crowds had thinned a bit when I emerged from the basement. Nevertheless, Hongdae remained vibrant and energetic. The night was long, and I still had a couple of places to check out in the area. But I was hoping I had my share of tricks for the day.

Trick Eye Museum
20, Hongik-ro 3-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul

Admission Fee: KRW 15,000 (Adult), KRW 12,000 (Child)
Opening Hours: 9am-9pm (Last entry: 8pm)

How to get there: Take the subway to Hongik Station (Line 2, Exit 9). Walk along Yanghwa-Ro. Turn left onto Hongik-Ro, walk two blocks, and then right to Hongik-Ro-3-Gil. You’ll find the Trick Eye Museum after the first corner.


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Vins Carlos

Chief Castle Builder at WanderGeneration Inc.
Vins is the Poor Traveler's co-founder and resident SEO master. He always finds himself lost during travel. But he loves unfamiliar territories and finding his way around. Aside from his taste for adventure, he loves two things while traveling — food and more food. Stalk him on his Photo Blog or follow him on his Instagram account!

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Comments

  1. But did you end up finding the Coffee Prince shop? We got lost when we were on our way there during our Korea trip, we were at the other side of Hongdae lol (should have known it earlier because of the lack in “youthful vibe”). After about 2 hours of walking and asking No Engrish speaking Koreans, we found Coffee Prince — closed for renovations. Oh well. We would have felt better if we stumbled upon this place like you. Gotta go there for the next Korea trip! 🙂

  2. Trick Eye says:

    Hello, thank you for visiting Trick Eye Museum and hope you had great time time with us. We would like to share some of your photo at TEM in our blog for English speakers (http://trickeye.blogspot.com). If it’s okay for you, please let us know. Thank you! 😉

  3. JTL says:

    Is it recommended if I am travelling alone in June? I was thinking no one would take my photos. Haha!

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