The Midangsi Museum of Literature was constructed to create a worldwide pilgrimage site for poetry that promotes the history and superiority of the Korean culture. It aims to provide visitors with an opportunity to enjoy cultural and artistic values of Midang Seo Jeongju (1915-2000), Korea’s representative poet of the 20th century.
15 books of his poems were published during his life and he wrote approximately 1,000 poems in a 70 year period. His poetry went through the process of clear changes and development. His early works were crude and sensual, and his style eventually evolved seeking Korea’s traditional beauty. In his advanced age, his works are evaluated to be philosophical and mature.
He has been studied the most compared to many contemporary poets, including Manhae, Sowol, and Jiyong, and he has been evaluated as the best poet in many different articles. His works have been translated into the greatest number of languages in the greatest number of nations among the Korean literature materials ever translated overseas . He was nominated for a Nobel Prize five times in his life time but he was never victorious.
He has been praised for exercising the best aesthetic description Korean literature could ever reach and has the most powerful aesthetic influence on the next generations, both during his life and after death. However, he was the subject of controversy in and outside of the literary world as he published pro-Japanese works during the late Japanese Colonial Period and supported and praised dictatorships. He won a posthumous award- the Geumgwan Order of Culture Merit.
15,000 articles of his keepsakes are stored and displayed at the Midang Museum and Dongguk University Library. His house in Namhyeon-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul where he wrote for thirty years is waiting for maintenance and restoration construction.