Monday, April 19, 2010

Lock Museum at Hyehwa

Sunday was not a great day to sit in the park, but I wanted to get out of the house, so I decided to visit the Lock Museum on a whim. It is located near Marronnier Park out Exit 2 of Hyewha station on Line 4.

The architecture of the building is really cool, with a neat courtyard/stairwell arrangement:

The Lock Museum is on 4F, and cost 3000 W to enter. It is not well-lit for photography but it does have a great many locks, latches, bolts and hinges from Korea and all over the world.

Above, part of the collection of ㄷ-shaped locks, mostly used in Jeolla province.

These are gate-latches, used to keep gates between sections of a house closed, but not locked.

Some animal-shaped locks from Korea. It was believed that fashioning the locks like the animals would invoke the talismanic power of the animal, both to ensure the safety of their property and to garner the particular blessings the animal's spirit was noted for. The turtle, for instance, symbolizes good fortune and longevity.

A nice lotus-shaped lock and below it, a few locks and latches from Africa.

A pair of locks from eighteenth century Nepal.

This is the workshop of a metal craftsman, designated "Important Intangible Cultural Properties No. 64", although it looks pretty tangible to me.

Finally, below is a letter from a museum curator in Germany who writes about how the architecture of the building and the collection of the museum impressed him so. He includes as a gift, a key made in his great-grandfather's workshop for the house in which he now lives.

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