Museum History

Director's Greeting



Director's Greeting

Dear Friends,

My nomadic existence as a wife of a diplomat began in my twenties and lasted for over 30 years. I can still feel the repercussion of my first encounter with the continent of Africa in 1978. I discovered a "New World" of jewellery and caught the "collector's virus." Thus, the birth of my jewellery collection can be traced to the breathtakingly beautiful people of Africa.

Jewellery has accompanied mankind since the dawn of human history. Over 70,000 years ago, our ancestors made habitual use of jewellery for various purposes: to satisfy the basic instinct for beautification; to pursue magical force in order to gain security and protection; to show off social status as well as identity; to serve as family banks.

With the artistic force of spiritual craftspeople, jewellery has also played a most prominent role in recording various time lines and regions. Such traditions are still alive and kicking in spite of globalization and mass-production. The diversity of materials, forms, techniques and colors that are imprinted in the jewellery has hypnotized me for over 30 years. Traditional jewellery is sculpted by the powerful hands of time.

Unlike other works of art, the spirit of the wearer is infused into the jewellery created by the hands of the maker. We find ourselves breathing next to the jewellery and its wearer. Jewellery invites us to enter a world where the threads of reality and myths are entangled. Traditional jewellery drips with history which has the force to change humanity and show us the easy road to meditation.

It is my firm belief that art is not something to be owned by a single person, but to be shared and embraced by all humanity. This is the purpose of the World Jewellery Museum.

Lee Kang-won
Poet and Director
World Jewellery Museum

Museum History


2, Bukchon-ro 5na-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea (03053)
T. 02.730.1610
F. 02.730.1611