If you are coming to Seoul, or already in Seoul for a holiday, you might want to add one more attraction to your list of places to visit!
Visitors to Garosu-gil in the Sinsadong area will be able to take a picture with Ji Chang Wook. Well, not the man in person, but a trick art painting of him on a wall.
The mural of him is part of a series of trick art that was recently painted around Garosu-gil to form a “Trick Art Street”. There are five paintings in total, of which one of them is a painting of Ji Chang Wook.
For those who are not familiar with the concept of trick art, they are actually 2D artworks that play with illusions, such that they appear 3D if you look at them from a certain angle. The fun part is that the person posing in the photo actually looks like he/she is interacting with the picture itself. This is probably not very common in the West, but trick art museums are highly popular across Asia, especially in South Korea.
This Trick Art Street project was put together by the Gangnam district office and the Shinsadong local resident committee based on a survey they conducted among visitors who came to Garosu-gil in March. In the survey, “shopping” was listed as the prime reason for coming to Garosu-gil, and most of the respondents (21%) wanted a “fun street that is unique to Garosu-gil”. The committee sought permission from the owners of buildings and shops in the area for six months before finally completing the project.
The project is not only meant to revitalise the area, but also as a means to boost tourist numbers to the area, especially since the Korean tourism industry was adversely affected by the MERS outbreak this year.
Garosu-gil, which means “tree-lined street” in Korean, is considered a hip tourist area in Gangnam, filled with many chic cafes, restaurants and fashion boutiques appealing to the young.
Trick art befitting of the character of the area were supposedly chosen, though I personally don’t see how Ji Chang Wook fits into the scenery here. Obviously, his painting is there because 1) he’s the ambassador for the Gangnam Tourist Information Centre, and 2) he’s famous and many fans will flock to the area, therefore helping them to achieve their goal of boosting tourist numbers. Hehe.
Even famous people want to pose with Ji Chang Wook… like fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, who was recently in Seoul as part of the celebration of 30 years of the Tommy Hilfiger Brand’s launch in Asia.
Ji Chang Wook’s trick art painting can be found on the wall next to the Swarovski store (Holly’s Coffee is on the second floor) at Apgujeong-ro, 12-gil, no. 34 (압구정로 12길 34). The nearest subway stations are Apgujeong station and Sinsa station. Walking directions shown in the map below:
If you are interested in the other trick art paintings, they can be found at:
Le Alaska – Apgujeong-ro, 14-gil, no. 15 (압구정로 14길 15)
Shingu Sports Centre – Apgujeong-ro, 18-gil, no. 28 (압구정로 18길 28)
ArtC – Apgujeong-ro, 12-gil, no. 34-5 (압구정로 12길 34-5)
Analogue 2021 – Nonhyeon-ro, 153-gil, no. 61 (논현로153길61)