Ihwa-Dong is a small area near Daehangro, placed against a steep hill. It used to be a sad, neglected neighborhood, until the government decided -in 2006- to give the area a boost via an art project. It was named the Naksan Project and it meant that 60 artists painted walls and installed artworks.
|View down upon Ihwa-dong. As you can see it is pretty steep.|
Since then, the neighborhood draws lots of people, walking around, having a look at the art and taking pictures. Like I did, one cold but sunny afternoon.
I had a bit of trouble finding the exact right location.
At first I was in some streets way too far to the left. It was nice strolling there though, and there were some murals, art works and cute shops and coffee places. But I just knew it was not The Right Place. I walked up and down, ended up at Naksan Park, went back down until at one point I finally ran into someone who spoke enough english to point me in the right direction. Pfjew!
|Very cool. Longtime readers know how I love mixed media art, combining 2 dimensional with 3D.|
|Many buildings have bold colors in Ihwa-dong.|
|It’s a maze of narrow alleyways.|
Once you end up in the right spot, there are a few maps on a wall that indicate where all the art works are.
You will find the art on the stairs, on the small houses along the narrow alleyways, in an underpass, along the walls of a parking area, literally in and around every corner.
|Integrated in electricity or gasmeters; cool idea.|
|Loving this one! Hahaha…|
|These stairs are spectacular!|
I spent several hours there, but I did not catch all the art, because all the climbing and descending wore me out. I managed to see a lot though! And loved every second!
Let me share my finds with you:
|These stairs are mosaic-d; very pretty!|
|Yes, there are many doggies in the murals. Great!|
|This piece of a woman on a sewing machine is huge and fantastic! Wow!!!|
How to find the exact area:
Ihwa Mural Village is located in Ihwa-dong, Jongno-gu. If you use the Lock Museum as your starting and orientation point, take the road right next to it that leads up the hill, towards Naksan Park. This road brings you to the murals. From there on it is a lot of climbing, descending and zigzagging.
|The Lock Museum.
If you face the building, take the stairs up the hill, on the left side of the building.
|Once above, you can take a stroll through Naksan Park. Be careful though, since I ran into a perv there!|
Isn’t this a wonderful neighborhood? Hopefully I am able to return one day, preferably in summer!