The World of Tim Burton
Apr. 29. 2022 - Sep. 12.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)
Tim Burton, the world-renowned director and creator of iconic, beloved characters, is bringing his art to Seoul through his must-see exhibition The World of Tim Burton, which features around 520 works across mediums such as drawing, painting, sculptural installation, photography, and more.
《The World of Tim Burton》is currently in the making.

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one of the best-known living directors,
globally beloved for his dreamy stories and bizarre characters 

The largest world tour exhibition, which led to a record-breaking 600,000 visitors in Seoul in 2012,
is now returning to South Korea.  
The exhibition traces the footsteps of director, Tim Burton, the man behind Edward Scissorhands, Batman, Corpse Brise, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, and many others, as a multi-dimensional artist and visionary. Over the past 30 years in his professional career, Tim Burton has created an assortment of characters, many considered to be misunderstood outcasts. His bizarre yet comical narratives and beautiful mise-en-scène have made him one of Hollywood's most iconic and loved directors.

The World of Tim Burton presents around 520 of Tim Burton's original artworks, across mediums such as painting, drawing, and photography. These works relate to his myriad films, as well as a variety of unrealized projects and personal creations spanning the past 50 years. It includes about 150 unpublished works and a glimpse inside the artist's studio which will be unveiled for the first time in the Seoul exhibition in 2022. 
"One person's craziness is another person's reality"
                                                                                                                                              -  Tim Burton


Tim Burton is one of the world's greatest directors of unique fantasy films. He delivers messages that embrace the outsiders and speak out about the absurdities of society through his own rich imagination and fantasy, projecting particular characters who adventure through scary and grotesque scenes. 

He has been known mainly as a film director, but his creativity and artistry have been discovered more deeply through various exhibitions held around the world, starting with Tim Burton which premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2009. Through the one-of-a-kind presentation of the artist's oeuvre, we can discover that Tim Burton is a true postmodern artist inspired by contemporary magazine comics, animations, monsters, pop culture, and science fiction. 

  • Exhibition Contents

Influences Introducing drawings and experimental works from Burton's childhood to early career, this section focuses on how illustrators, cartoonists, artistic styles, and stop-motion animation masters have shaped Burton's art and creative output.

Holidays Growing up in Burbank, California, Tim Burton looked forward to those times of the year when his sleepy neighborhood came alive with festive decorations. The holiday theme represents various motifs mixed with emotional and satirical allusions.

The Carnivalesque "Carnivalesque" is one of Tim Burton’s iconic themes, a fusion of the relative concepts of humor and horror. He uses clowns and related motifs to exemplify the feeling of “Carnival” – a celebration of the excess which has evolved to be synonymous with grotesque amusements.  

Figurative Works: Men, Women, or Creatures?  Tim Burton depicts physical reality not as it appears, but how he personally perceives it by distorting the perspectives and proportions of the human figure. The drawings in this section are some of his most private artworks, showcasing his impressions of people both known and unknown.

The Misunderstood Outcasts The iconic characters in Tim Burton's films and sketches often appear in dramatic situations as “sympathetic monsters.” Featuring the collection of short stories from The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories and his beloved "Balloon Boy” series, this section illustrates Tim Burton’s biggest interest in the perception of 'the outcast.'

Film Characters From his debut film, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure to his most recent work, Dumbo, this section takes a deeper look into the world and characters in his movies by including paintings, videos, scripts and storyboards, character models, and maquettes created in the process of bringing these films and Tim Burton's imagination to life.

Around the World Travelling is a necessity to a director’s life, and life abroad lends endless opportunities for inspiration and materials on which to quickly capture ideas and drawings. You can get a glimpse of records drawn on sketchbooks, hotel stationery, and even restaurant napkins.

Polaroids The oversized Polaroid series, created by shooting with a rare large-format instant camera, was one of his early artistic experiments. The personal photographs highlight recurring motifs and visual themes seen in his professional films.

Unrealized Projects Unrealized film, television, and book projects introduced in this section show Tim Burton's boundless imagination and passion for new creations. Explore the never-released works which examine the artist's continuous exploration and return to specific themes and motifs.


  • Exhibition Period
    • Apr. 29. 2022 – Sep. 12. 2022
    • No closed day
  • Location
    • DDP | Dongdaemun Design Plaza Museum B2F Design Exhibition Hall (M1 Gate)
  • Hours
    • 10 AM - 8 PM
    • Last entry at 7 PM 
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    • @dali_ddp
    • 02-325-1077(8)