There's something in the combination of cheekily appropriated artworks, being on the other end of the barrel of the camera lens and some good old optical illusions that brings out the inner models and overdramatic actors in all of us (or just me?). At the very least, you'll walk away from Hongdae's Trick Eye Museum with a couple of rather interesting new Facebook profile photos for your consideration.
My inner hipster (or 'savvy traveller', as I like to call it) has always been adamant about avoiding all that is recommended on tourist guidebooks, as much as possible. Even going on a comparatively 'off-peak' time - weekday afternoon before the after-work rush hour - there were quite a few instances where you're standing for ages, camera aloft, the smile of my travelling companion growing stiffer over time as we waited for a busload of touristing aunties to shuffle out of the frame.
But sometimes, an attraction is there for a reason, if only for the giggles you'll be sharing with your travelling companion at the stupid poses you're pulling or for the wink and nod at the art history nerd within (I spotted some Degas, Da Vinci, Caillebotte, Renoir's Girl at the Piano and several others that I recognise but have forgotten the names of...apologies to my high school Visual Arts teachers). You're not hearing it from me, but sometimes the phone camera actually produces better shots in this context (or at least take a wide lens).
Go with three or more people if you can because this place is best enjoyed with a crowd of people who can give you the necessary encouragement to pull that really stupid face (also because some artworks require two people). A selfie stick works too. I'm waiting for them to make one that can support a DSLR body (or designing one myself...).
Or, if you will, it's a good way to get out of the December cold. And you'll take anything.
It can be a little tricky finding the place - it's on the basement level of a very nondescript grey building - but all the shopkeepers seem to know where it is so your best bet is to keep asking about it if you get lost.
Kim Soo Hyun has been stalking me throughout Seoul and the rest of Asia, makeup products in hand, and the museum was no exception. It's a good thing he's so pretty.