In my last post about Jeju Island, I went into slight detail about Love Land, the sex museum, and the Teddy Bear Museum. That post was pretty PG-13. Now we’re going NC-17; (though the bit about the Teddy Bears is still PG). So if you’re one of those people who get a bit wheezy when someone says “heck” in church or synagogue or in the dairy section of the supermarket, I suggest skipping this one. (Or at least skip past all the penises until you start seeing Teddy Bears.) Consider yourself warned, though feel free to read on…
One of the most interesting things about Jeju Island, a place with three incredible natural UNESCO sites, are the museums, which should not be on the island. Most should not be on any island, but rather sunk in the sea. Regardless, there are over a hundred, including a bad dedication to the world of ice, a space that is essentially a large refrigerator, and a dinosaur museum with zero bones.
I could go on for awhile, talking about the wine museum in a country that produces almost none. But what tickles me most are the museums on sex and Teddy Bears. There are three. Three of each.
Because I had priorities and didn’t spend all my time on Jeju trying to research the variations between the three Teddy Bear museums and three sex museums, I can only talk in any detail on one of each.
Jeju Island Love Land
First, let’s explore Love Land together. It sounds like a wonderful place, until you walk in and see the penises marking the path. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my visit to Jeju Island Love Land. The exhibit features statues of women in all sorts of orgasmic poses, a well-endowed man walking his well-endowed dog, and large-and-in-charge ladies taking advantage of frightened, emaciated men, among many others.
The statues are actually quite artistic, including the middle finger lodged to the second joint in an in-ground, tiled vagina, and the pink woman riding the teal penis in front of a tiled ass that has a stream running down a now mossy crack. And the glory hole statue is great, too, especially as it goes into the history of how it once fell down, probably crushing the poor woman on one side or doing terrible things to the man inserting his manhood through the wall.
Love Land is the sort of place that probably could have attracted visitors anyway, even if they hadn’t turned the lovely gardens into some sexually explicit showcase. The only part that is weak is the indoor section, which features an unimaginative collection of dildos, vibrators, and lube. But upstairs of that there are wonderful dioramas of men swinging at golf balls with rope-long penises and a busy house scene with many different sex scenes and titles, including my favorite “What Ms. Kim Ordered for Takeout.”
And if you think Love Land is pure depravity, think again. Just beside one penis sign they were raising money for charity.
Teddy Bears and History
While Love Land is a decent art exhibit, the Teddy Bear Museum–the original one–does a pretty humorous job of addressing history. Besides featuring a few life-sized bears dressed as royalty or Charlie Chaplin, and then four smaller stuffed animals in Sergeant Pepper uniforms and another dressed as Jordan dunking, the outer wall reconstructs major historic events like the moon landing, the storming of Normandy, and the chipping away at the Berlin Wall.
Most impressive is the four-minute, five-song set of Elvis, as a bear of course, along with a full band reinterpreting the first-ever broadcasted concert, which doesn’t get explained to the fifty-seat auditorium.
Unfortunately, most people are forced to misinterpret and misunderstand the cleverness of Teddy Bear revisionist history.