Forest Museum was established in order to collect mountain forest and forestry data and education, specimen classification and current status, preservation, exhibition and research. The traditional Korean construction concept was adapted whilst using modern materials like granite on the exterior of the building. Reinforced concrete was also used during the construction of the museum. It has two stories above the ground and one underground level and totals 4,617㎡. Inside the building, it is built with materials from Gwangneung Forest such as Korean nut pine tree and larch. The facade of the museum represents the wall painting of the ancient Baekjae Dynasty, Samsumunjeon, and it is engraved in a modern sense. It embodies the harmony of nature: mountains, trees, water, rocks and clouds.
The ceiling of the entrance was built with lumber, which was a group of removed trees from forest thinning and it is a fine example of lumber building.
The headstone in front of the Forest Museum is collected from a river in Dongdangri, Sicheonmyeon, Sancheon Gun, Gyeongsangnam-do and the 34 kinds of rock samples are housed in the middle of the square building.
Front View of Forest Museum
Front View of Forest Museum
Living Forest Video System The video system displays beautiful forests by introducing visual art techniques using multiple monitors. Eight monitors are installed on the zelkova symbol wood. Five monitors installed below them show plants, insects, amphibians, mammals living on the ground. Three monitors in the middle offers the view of leaves, fruits, flowers and birds, butterflies. Beautiful forest scenery is available to be viewed by visitors in eight minutes with background music.
Zelkova Symbol Wood The wood was digged from the submerged area of the Andong Imha dam. It has five trunks that form one tree and is 18m in height and 6.2m in girth.
Worldwide Main Wood Sample Wood samples of 21 species of domestic and foreign trees are on display in the 1st exhibition room. The exhibition allows visitors to compare and observe their use and features. It is also possible to compare domestic and foreign wood as each of them are used on the left and right handrails of stairs respectively. For domestic timber, the museum houses conifer trees including pine tree, Korean nut pine tree, Korea fir tree, larch as well as broadleaf trees such as oak tree, white birch, alder, paulownia tree, zelkova tree, and poplar. As for imported timber, conifer trees including Oregon pine, hemlock, spruce, and tropical broadleaf trees of Southeast Asia such as lauan, apitong, jelutong, capol, teak. On the surface of the Oregon pine, it has a chronicle which allows visitors to compare Korean history with foreign history through annual rings of the tree.
The 2nd exhibition room is based on two themes, history and the use of wood. In the introduction part, various seeds are displayed based on the concept of “Seeds, which is the origin of the forest and humans”. In the “history” section, various displays related to forests from ancient times to the present are shown and in the “use of wood” part, the use of wood and traditional wood processing are available to be viewed by visitors.
From Ancient times to Unified Silla Forest policy, wooden building, representing forest and forest culture are on exhibition in time order including wooden shovels, wagon wheels which are excavated relics from a Neolithic Age site.
The Goryeo Era Explanation on wooden buildings by each wood’s characteristics and forest policy of the Goryeo Government are presented in the room. A replica of Palmadaejanggyeong (Tripitaka Koreana), a huge collection of Buddhist scriptures, which was made to seek divine assistance when combating with Mongolian invaders is on display.
The Joseon Era The model of Ondol (Korean underfloor heating System) to explain the relation between forests and ondol, and the replica of Soswaewon, one of the three gardens that represent Korean traditional gardens are on display as well. At the time of the Joseon Dynasty, forest protection and system made much progress. Visitors can give a glimpse into the people lived in the Joseon Dynasty and lawsuits on wood logging. Especially a kiosk for searching Korean pine tree is installed which visitors can search various information on pine trees.
Japanese Colonial Era The damage to the forest during the Japanese colonial era, the historical documents related to the wood logging in the Mount Baekdu as well as the Yalu River are on display. The information on the Sapsal dog and Baekdu tigers which disappeared during the era are presented in the room.
Restoration of Sovereignty “Global forestation technology made the land green” was a slogan from 1950s which was the time of renovation. The display explains 1st and 2nd Forestry Conservation Projects, the world-renowned unique afforestation schemes, which yielded successful outcomes after World War II, and the trees planted by the presidents of Korea.
Everyone can easily understand the nature, characteristics and processing of timber by the displays of traditional lumbering, transportation, processing, the use of timber and forest by-products.
Quality of Timber Conifers are composed of a tracheid while broadleaf trees consist of vessel and wood fiber. The quality of timber depends on its cut end, water quantity and fiber bearings.
Characteristics of Timber Timber is used for various purposes by species of trees for construction, engineering works Korean traditional furniture, western furniture, stationery, carving material, western musical instrument, Korean traditional musical instrument, pulpwood, sporting equipment, tool pouches, packing boxe and cultivating mushrooms. Tennis rackets and baseball bats are made of ash trees, other musical instruments come from spruce and mono maple trees.
Manufacturing and the Use of Timber Traditionally, timber was widely used for everyday life and construction. Board cutting, tub plugging, joint alignment, shipbuilding are a few examples as to utilizing timber and now its tradition still alive today, forming a basis for Korean wood processing.
Traditional Wooden Furniture Korean traditional wooden furniture is classified by wardrobes, chests and trunks. Because of the unique colors and patterns, persimmon and zelkova trees were widely used in wooden furniture. Also furniture was made without using any nails but by jointing alignment, wooden materials representing each techniques are on display.
Wood and Sound (Instrument) Visitors can witness three types of wooden musical instruments. Stringed instruments produce sound by plucking the strings on wooden instruments. Also, woodwind instruments such as bamboo instruments with holes, players blow air into the holes to resonate sound. As for percussion instrument, beaters have to strike instruments to generate sound. By viewing the exhibition, visitors may find it easy to understand the principle of making sound in the instruments.
Wooden Product Processing Traditionally timber has been utilized as to making household items and construction materials based on unique properties of each wood. Traditional board cutting, tub plugging, joint alignment, shipbuilding techniques form the basis for modern wood processing technology even today.
Gwigongpo It is a structure to transmit the weight of roof proportionally to pillars. It is commonly found in the Korean royal palaces and Buddhist temples and has architectural beauty of pillars and eaves.
Traditional Korean House A replica of a Korean traditional house is on display. Korean houses are built with pillars, rafters, ridges, and thin woven woods, mixed mud and straw with water, and roof tiles. Mud was For the walls, plastering mud on the fixed woven woods was used. This exhibition allows you to witness the structure and building process of Hanok. Also, various wooden furniture is on display including a three-story wardrobe, a three-story dish table, a two-story storied trunk.
Bamboo Work (By-Product) Bush clover and willow with thin stems growing in the mountain were traditionally used to make baskets for household items. Also, bamboo was widely used for producing musical instruments and household items. Big baskets, Korean hats made of bamboo, bamboo flutes, a Dutch Wife, and folding fans were commonly used in old times.
Natural Dyeing In this exhibition, it gives an explanation of how natural dyes are extracted from natural sources such as fruit, leaves, bark and roots. Raw materials and dyed fabrics are also shown here.
Lacquering and Yellow Lacquering Resin extracted from poison ivy and Korean dendropanax is used as a natural dye. The film of the lacquered surface is not only hard and glossy but also adhesive and water-resistant, regarded as a high class varnish. This traditional varnish abstracted from Korean dendropanax not only expresses various colors of gold but also absorbs harmful electric wave.
The room features videos containing the importance of forest and conservation. Its structural characteristic enables visitors to be more effectively involved in the exhibition.
The 4th exhibition houses “Evolution of Humans and Plants”, “Ecological Forest Diorama”, “Humans and Plants”, “Humans and Insects”, “Humans and Fungi”, “Endangered Earth”, “Efforts to prevent various threats through international cooperation”.
The Evolution of Animals and Plants Terrestrial plants emerged during the Ordovician period. The plants were able to mutually evolve during the Silurian period and in the Devonian period after forests and soils- a suitable habitat for insects and vertebrates- were formed. This section of the exhibit features the Paleozonic, Mesozonic and Cenozoic fossils, as well as providing an interactive kiosk which visitors can search for a wide range of information related to fossils.
The Ecology of Forest Diorama The Forest Diorama provides a view of an oak forest with animals and birds display which visitors can grasp a forest environment easily.
Humans and Plants Plant resources include the plants beneficial to humans. In this exhibition, it houses medicinal plants under the theme of the importance of plant resources.
Humans and Insects Approximately 120 million species of insects are known worldwide. In Korea, 14,188 species of 503 families as well as 25 orders are thought to exist. Information is provided as to Insect as resources and specimens.
Humans and Fungi Ecology, difference between edible and poisonous fungi and specimens are on display.
Endangered Earth Visitors can witness the climate change, biodiversity decline and desertification through photographs, videos and kiosks.
Efforts through International Cooperation The Korea Forest Service and its international cooperation actions to respond to the three major environmental crises of the Earth - the decline in biodiversity, climate change as well as desertification (the Yellow Dust)- are explained in this exhibition.
Gwangneung Forest Visitors can become familiar with the history and the present of Gwangneung Forest, which have been preserved over 540 years and designated as a UNESCO Biosphere, through an interactive kiosk. Also in the exhibition, it houses a small theater which displays the restricted area of the forest.
Laminated Dome This exhibition is built to display how practically thinned small logs are used. The room is made of sawn and laminated larch and Korean nut pine wood using urethane resin glue in the direction of fiber. Visitors can enjoy a computer game such as ‘Spot the difference’ with lovey photographs of plants.
Audio-Visual Room Korean nut pine and Korean traditional door framework, Mumchangsal, create the room an ideal place for performance as such material and style produce less resonance. It has 205 seats with video instrument including a beam projector. It hosts numerous academic conferences and forestry related meetings as well as playing forest documentaries.
This exhibition is often used as an educational venue as to forestry and environment for teenagers and the public through photo exhibitions on environment, Korean birds, animals, insects exhibition, miniature paintings and wood work exhibitions.