From Modern Media Company Building to Place of Modern Art: Ilmin Museum of Art
After its establishment as a newspaper for the Korean people in the spring of 1920, the Donga Ilbo, founded by Kim Seong-su, moved from the Choong Ang High School building to a new building in Gwanghwamun-dong, Gyeongseong-bu in December of 1926. This was after the Japanese Governor-General of Korea already suspended the operation of the newspaper twice, but the suspensions didn’t stop the newspaper company from continuing the construction of the new building. The building was constructed on the former location of a famous restaurant, ‘Myeongwolgwan.’ This three-story Renaissance-style building with a basement is recognized as a structure that well reflects the features of “high-rise” office buildings in the 1920s. In 1992, over 60 years later, the newspaper company moved again to another new building. After renovations, the old building was opened to the public as the Ilmin Museum of Art. The building is now a space for art-lovers, but the history of the hardships that the newspaper endured during Japanese military rule and the following military dictatorships remains as a part of with the aging building to this day.