OWL Magazine Korea

Yeom Sang-seop Statue in Gwanghwamun, Seoul (Photo)

Located in the basement of the Kyobo Building on the east side of Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul is the main branch of Kyobo Bookstore. As you enter the main entrance of Kyobo Bookstore, towards the east, you will find a statue seated on a bench. This statue is dedicated to the author Yeom Sang-seop.

Yeom Sang-seop, born in 1897 in Jongno, Seoul, was a naturalist novelist. After graduating from Kyoto Prefectural Middle School, he enrolled in the Department of History at Keio University but dropped out. In 1919, he was imprisoned on charges of involvement in the March 1st. Movement, and the following year he returned to Korea and pursued a career as a journalist for Dong-a Ilbo. In 1920, he became involved in the literary world by contributing to the magazine “Pyeheo-ui Dong-in.”

“The Yeom Sang-seop Statue Commemorating the Literary Achievements”

The statue was erected in 1996 to commemorate Yeom Sang-seop’s literary achievements during the Year of Literature. Initially placed near his birthplace in Jongmyo Park, it was relocated to Samcheong Park as part of the Jongmyo Plaza renovation project in 2009. In 2014, it was once again moved to its current location in front of the Kyobo Building.

Representative works include “Cheonggaeguri in the Specimen Room” and “Samdae.”. “Cheonggaeguri in the Specimen Room” is recognized as Korea’s first naturalistic novel.

Even today, you can find the statue of Yeom Sang-seop on a bench at the entrance leading to the main gate of Kyobo Bookstore in Gwanghwamun.