Subway Art

CONTRIBUTED BY CHRISTINE BRUNS

I am a great proponent of using the subway in Seoul, as the traffic can be challenging to negotiate and it’s often much faster to use public transportation. I’ve even written an article for Korea Ye about how to use the subway.

One of the fun things I’ve taken to documenting with my trusty cell phone camera on each outing is the differences from station to station. Each station has its own unique style, atmosphere, and amenities. Some have underground markets (Express Bus Terminal Station on Line 3 and Gangnam Station on Line 2, to name a few), some are directly attached to larger facilities (Jamsil Station on Line 2 is connected to Lotte World), and others are just simple subway stops (the above ground platform at Namyeong Station on Line 1).

Subway Art market

What has really caught my eye lately, however, is the variety of art or decor themes there are at the subway stations. There are, of course, ads for local performances and events, such as this Miso poster in City Hall Station (Line 1).

Subway Art shows

There are murals for various attractions, like this lovely N Seoul tower fantasy piece at City Hall Station or the one of long-gone orcas down in Seoul Grand Park Station (Line 4) by the zoo.

Subway Art mural

Subway Art orca

There are cartoonish looking ones…

Subway Art owls

Owls at Children’s Grand Park Station (Line 7)

…and abstract pieces.

Subway Art blocks

Blocks at Sookmyung Women’s University Station (Line 4)

There are real works of art to be found, as well. In Jonggak Station on Line 1, between exits 4 and 5, there is an entire display about Korean bells.

Subway Art bell

If you venture down into Gyeongbokgung Station (Line 3), as you leave the palace grounds, you will find a separate art display area, as well as this fine fellow from the Silla period – National Treasure No. 91.

Subway Art horse

Until recently, City Hall Station also had fun little statues to cheer you up on each bench along the platform. We are hopeful that something new gets added in their place soon.

Subway Art puppet

There are so many great things to discover while getting from here to there. Take a moment to stop and look around; you might be surprised by the beauty you find hidden underground in Seoul.

Subway Art dragons
Double dragon seal found in the underground tunnel of City Hall Station

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