Snap de la semaine: Insadong, Seoul

| October 2, 2009 | 9 Comments
koreanmasks Snap de la semaine: Insadong, Seoul

In the market on Insadong-gil, a street which is connected to a multitude of alleys that lead deeper into the district. At one time it was the largest market for antiques and artworks in Korea. Korean masks have a long tradition, with use in a variety of contexts. They were used in war, on both soldiers and their horses; ceremonially, for burial rites in jade and bronze and for shamanistic ceremonies to drive away evil spirits; to remember the faces of great historical figures in death masks; and in the arts, particularly in ritual dances, courtly, and theatrical plays.

Kathryn and Daniel will post a ‘Snap de la semaine’ irregulary, but at a rate of one per week. It is an original photo not otherwise on the site—it might be fresh from our camera, a new scan of some old film, a product of our fooling around with Photoshop, or a file from the archive that we haven’t posted yet.


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Category: Dan's Blog, Photos

About the Author ()

For nearly ten years now, Daniel of Two Go Round-The-World has explored how travel captures our imagination and engages our deepest emotions. One half of the duo that maintains the widely read Two Go Round-The-World blog, Daniel treats his subjects not only as works of art but also as symbols of the cultural and political forces that inspire them. Check him out on Google+.

Comments (9)

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  1. JoAnna says:


    This is a beautiful picture! I loved South Korea and would love to go back. I never actually spent time in Seoul, but when I make it back there, I would love to check this place out.

    • Daniel says:


      As a travel destination, in my opinion, Korea is underrated, and depending on whether you go East, South or West (North’s not an option) you will enjoy a different experience! Seoul is a great option, too!


  2. Love the facial expression from the mask. From sad to happy. :)

    • Daniel says:


      Thanks, Amy. The masks to which you refer are called Hahoe masks (Hahoetal) and are used in Hahoe Tal Chum (a dramatic dance) in one of Korea’s most traditional folk plays.


  3. What a great collection of masks – so expressive – love it, so thanks for sharing!


  4. I love these photos! I haven’t had the chance to go to Asia yet, but I’m really looking forward to it. I love the style of Asian art so it’s a treat seeing a photo of real street art there.

  5. Nancie says:


    I know exactly where this was taken. I have a similar photo in my archives :)


  6. We LOVED Korea and totally agree that it is way under-rated as a destination! (But, then again – shhh – don’t tell anyone or it’ll be overrun with tourists!) ;) We actually have a pair of those Hahoe masks hanging on our wall. Our 19-month-old daughter identified the male one with the huge nose as “Mama” the other day…sigh…

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