The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Korea’s Jeju Love Land: the Sexiest museum in Asia?

Written By: herbrunbridge - Oct• 01•12

One of the “big woman” sculptures at Love Land

Here at WoWasis, we’d guess that the number of museums we’ve visited in our lifetimes to certainly number in the hundreds, and maybe even the thousands. But none of them were as fun as South Korea’s Jeju Love Land, located a few kms south of the city of Jeju-si, on the island of Jeju. Yes, the museum is about sex, and it’s ribald. Nothing in this museum is taken seriously, from the déclassé sex toys in the museum shop (our favorite was a pen holder in which, when a pen is inserted into a couching man’s behind, he moans in pain, a favorite with the Japanese tourists who were visiting that day). 

A diorama showing male student’s creative use of a mirror in the classroom

The museum is clearly about sex as fun and sex as funny. There’s nothing sacred or politically correct here. But what surprised us was that much of the sculpture an art works are pretty damn good. The reason has a lot to do with the premise upon which it was founded. In 2002, 20 artists, graduates of Hongik University in Seoul, began creating sculptures for this museum, which eventually totaled 140 works of art. The museum opened in 2004. 

In terms of the work we liked best, we found the sex dioramas to be creative, funny, and well-done. The sculptural series involving the insatiable Big Woman and her thin and reluctant paramour were essentially giant comic strips in 3D. Throughout the museum, there are sculptural gags: a woman’s behind turned into a chair (one female visitor sat on it, and loved it when we snapped her photo), vagina-licking bicycle wheels, pedaled by the user, giant penises, penis doorhandles. 

 The visitors, male and female, think the museum is a riot, and essentially a great reason for the museum in the first place is to demystify sex and take some of the seriousness out of the discourse. How serious can you be with a man’s butt penholder on your desk, anyway? But as we said, there’s a lot of compelling art here, too. We took the museum seriously enough that we wished the artists’ names had been given in English (a bane of many a Korean museum). We also would have loved a book to take home, but there is none. Too bad. Jeju Love Land is one of the 4 or 5 major highlights of your trip to the island of Jeju, which may drive the tourism authorities bonkers. You shouldn’t miss it. It’s a classic, and truly unique. 

Jeju Love Land
20 km south of the city of Jeju-si
Open daily, 9 am – midnight (must be 18 or over)
Tel: +82 (64) 712-6988

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