Nestled between famous Seoul icons Itaewon and the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art lies a hidden secret. The Yongsan Craft Museum was opened in 2018, but it seems to have missed the mark when making a name for itself. That being said, there is a lot to see and do here. This modern gallery/experience center is a must-see for Korean art and craft enthusiasts – read on to see what’s available at this unique weekend destination.
Traditional Craft Workshops
The craft workshops that are open to the public vary from week to week and month to month. Some of the advertised activities include woodwork, metalwork, traditional painting, ancient knot design, embroidery, hanbok sewing, and pottery. Classes require pre-registration, which you can find from the museum’s website. Please note: registration requires that you make an account. You can also make inquiries directly to the staff here. If you want to learn any kind of traditional craft, this is the place to do it. With expert teachers from around the country, you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere like it.
Exhibitions change regularly and feature all of the traditional crafts that the museum teaches. We were lucky enough to visit a contemporary pottery exhibition titled ‘Blooming from Earth’ (Spring 2021). Supported by the Incorporated Korean Contemporary Ceramic Artists Association, we were able to see some of the most impressive modern pieces of pottery by leading artists in the field. As a ceramics historian, I was pleasantly surprised with the wide range of creativity on display here. Many museums fall in a trap of displaying wares with more ancient features, ones that hark back to the Joseon and Goryeo pottery renaissance, but the Yongsan Craft Museum moved in a fresh new direction. Some of the most memorable pieces for me were ‘Sphere Series’ by Yoon Sol, ‘Folktakes182’ by Hong Jiyeon, and ‘Camellia Garden’ by Choi Jae-ran which featured pottery infused with Jeju volcanic ash.
1F: Yongsan Craft Museum Gift Shop / Furniture Store
2F: Not Accessible to Public
3F: Craft Education Center, Lecture Hall, Craft Space
4F: Exhibiton Space (Free), Outdoor Craft Space
Address: Seoul, Yongsan-gu, Itaewon-ro 274 
Parking: 30 min / 2,000 won ($2)
Website: Click here