When we were young, we encountered traditional Korean fairy tales and myths. The mysterious stories were full of various episodes centered on animals, ghosts, or inanimate objects that existed only in imagination. But gradually we became adults, and the grand and mysterious world that we dreamed of as children only faded. However, today, there is an exhibition that has made the imaginary world a reality through various senses. It allows us to meet the tree of wishes, the naughty goblins, the rabbit pounding the mill on the moon, and our own guardian deities, which existed only in the tales. This SMT reporter visited the exhibition "Curious 12 Tales" to greet them after a long time.
To the tales' world in our imagination
In Seoul, the world of traditional fairy tales and tales unique to Korea, which we had forgotten for a while, has been revived. At the "Curious 12 Tales," an exhibition held on the first basement floor of the Anyounginsadong Inscentral Museum in the middle of Insa-dong, Seoul, visitors can see our traditional things very sophisticated and new. This exhibition introduces itself as a mysterious media journey to meet Korean tales, various ghosts in stories, and imaginary animals and plants. To introduce how to get to the exhibition, first, take bus 400 from the main gate of Sookmyung Women's University and get off at the stop called 'In front of Namdaemun Market'. Then, transfer to bus 151 from there, move to three stops, get off at Jogyesa Temple, and walk for about three minutes to arrive. Tickets for the exhibition can be booked on the exhibition itself introduced below or through Naver. Due to COVID-19, viewers must recognize fever checks and QR codes and wear masks throughout the exhibition. And in this exhibition, as the readers can see in more detail from the contents introduced below, it has the characteristic of having their own ticket barcode. So, before entering, viewers enter their date of birth and time of birth and attach their unique barcode sticker to their pamphlet given by the guide. Since there are many opportunities to recognize one's barcode and interact directly with the exhibition, one should be careful not to lose each pamphlet until one leaves the exhibition.
This exhibition is divided into a total of 12 chapters, and rather than being divided into floors, it is organized by moving within the same floor and meeting each new chapter. Even if you don't think about the order, the way to the next chapter is naturally guided, and there are information staff everywhere, so you can watch the exhibition as your feet lead. The beginning of this exhibition is the 'Imaginary Door', which is protected by two traditional gods, Shindo and Wooloo. Passing through this door into the exhibits makes the visitors discover strange imaginary worlds. The third Chapter 'Beyond Space and Time' has the most curiosity and tension wrapped all around it, as it is a hallway filled with mystical mist and where time and space are ever changing. The fifth chapter is 'The Wishing Tree.' The legend of the katsura tree that protects people and grants wishes still lives on around us. Visitors can stand in front of a brilliantly shining katsura tree and let loose their hopes. In the sixth chapter 'Reaching the Stars Beyond Our Mind', there is the ancient Korean start map Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido which is the oldest star map in existence after one in China. There are 28 different arrays of constellations depending on the moon's location, and visitors can find the constellation that fits their own date of birth if they put the barcode given to their pamphlets into the kiosk's sensor. This is why they entered their birth times at the entrance before starting the exhibition. Their pamphlets are also useful in the 11th chapter, 'We Live with the House Ghosts'. This is because visitors can recognize the barcode of their tickets on the kiosk and take vivid photos like the house ghosts. They are an AR characters, and visitors can take pictures by selecting the ghost they want, such as 'Mirror goblin' and 'Goblin under the bed', etc. And after enjoying all the exhibition, visitors can print photos of themselves taken throughout it for about 3,500 won per sheet through the kiosk provided the souvenir shop.
The official English title of the exhibition is "Curious 12 Tales," literally interpreting the Korean title as "12 Mysterious Tales of Korea." The keywords 'Korea' and 'Tales' in the title of the exhibition remind us that the exhibition is somewhat historical or childish for children to visit. But that's a complete misunderstanding. The exhibition must be the best fusion experience in terms of the modern technology of media exhibition of imaginary plants, animals, ghosts, and stories that we encountered in old stories as children. It is also an exhibition that goes well with Insadong, which is full of traditional and traditional beauty. "Curious 12 Tales" has a wide variety of screens, pictures, music and experiences that can be viewed quickly, and viewers' eyes, ears, and hands will be busy. This reporter strongly recommends the exhibition to readers because it is a unique exhibition with a variety of places and contents, and you can forget about the time.