leeum samsung museum of art is a private art museum run by the samsung foundation of culture.
i noticed that it helps immensely to conceive structures meant especially for art exhibitions. i know now that re-purposing large-sized former dwellings to this end is not such a great idea.
and this museum did just that: it has three buildings, each designed by a famous architect. and 13,000 won (approx. 9 euro) will buy you a day pass that allows you access to the whole thing.
museum 1 is by mario botta and it is made to showcase traditional korean art pieces. as taking pictures of the permanent exhibition was forbidden, i don’t have any photographs. but i can tell you that the pieces were wonderfully displayed and lit. also, you can see them here.
i was allowed to take pictures of the common areas and there was the famous red tulle staircase by local artist do ho suh.
i liked hyunkoo lee‘s skeletal take on tom and jerry called felis catus animatus mus animatus.
but also the sculptures recreated from photographs by osang gwon.
when i visited, they had two shows. the first one was opulence: treasures of korean traditional craft.
and the second one was mise en scene.
adjacent to the 3 wings, there is a rectangular sculpture garden. it used to be inhabited by louise bourgeois maman, but, ever since last year’s anish kapoor exhibition, the garden displays the artist’s tall tree and the eye. i found out that the spider is in storage and it is the property of the museum.
the museum is impressively well-organized. i liked it how they use samsung tablets for the audio guides. and they are available for only 2.000 won (approx. 1.4 euro).
if there is one thing i don’t like so much is the fact that the contemporary art collection seems a best-of selection of the current international super stars. but they do compensate with a series of works of their best korean artists. oh, one more thing: why did they have to choose to surround their museum with two of the sculptures chosen by the bilbao guggenheim? i know copying is the sincerest form of flattery, but with so much great art and with their acquisition budget, i see no explanation.
anyhow, it’s a super modern museum and the overall experience was wonderful. do not miss this place if you happen to be in seoul!
photo credits: little aesthete