Leeum Art Museum In Seoul
Updated: Sep 23, 2018
This weekend on Sunday, August 12th 2018, my husband Travis and I went to the Leeum Art Museum in Seoul, South Korea to take a look at the much talked about Modern and Korean Art Collection. It was recommended by an artist friend who had been impressed with the selection and mentioned it was worth checking out. On a 98-degree summer day, it was the perfect way to beat the heat and also wonder a bit through the grounds beautiful scenery. The Leeum Art Museum is owned by The Samsung Foundation (a well-known conglomerate in Korea) and located slightly up the mountain between Itaewon and Hangangjin stations. The museum is on the smaller side, but it was perfect to grab our attention for a couple hours which according to my husband is the perfect amount of time.
Two of the largest pieces featured outside the museum are by artist Anish Kapoor, the large silver ornament looking piece is called Tall Tree & The Eye and the circular mirror is called Sky Mirror. I realized only after on Instagram what cool photos you could get in front of the Sky Mirror, so I may need to go back and play around a bit. Judging from older photos on The Leeum website, it looks like they change their outside installations from time to time. This is great they like to keep things fresh as I feel it draws people back to see whats new.
Just outside the walled in section is a really cool steel structure with beautiful red, yellow and grays by Alexander Calder (1971) called Grand Crinkly. When walking around the property, I noticed this stunning residential entrance gate which appeared to be connected to an embassy residence. It doesn’t seem to be part of the museum but I quickly grabbed a few photos there as well. I’m not sure if that’s allowed but I couldn't resist the beauty of the greenery!
There are two sections of the Museum. Museum 1 which features traditional Korean art, as well as modern art mixed in throughout. Museum 2, features primarily Modern and Contemporary art by Korean artists as well as many others.
Inside the Modern Art section of Museum 2, there were a few pieces that really stood out which I would have liked to share, but photos were prohibited within the galleries. However, I was able to look up those pieces on their website, which is great if you’re looking to see what is on display. The Damien Hurst pieces Dark Oval Butterfly-Wing Painting and Dark Round Spiral Butterfly Wing Painting where actual butterflies are used to create this stunning symmetrical design. In Museum 1 there was a beautiful display of Korean pottery and traditional artifacts including gold jewelry, shoes and crowns from the early Korean dynasties. My favorite part was at the end of the Korean Art exhibit when you transition into a really cool white spiral staircase with this beautiful chandelier art piece hanging in the middle. Once you exit the spiral staircase, was another large, unique staircase with florescent lighting and a massive mirror perfect for selfies. On the way out, we hit the museum store and spotted a Louis Vuitton book to add to our collection. They had nice Korean pottery replicas for sale and other unique Korean gifts such as scarves, leather goods, modern art plates and more. As we exited the lobby we noticed an interesting piece featuring two identical taxidermy deer that were joined together with reflective beads. There was a small cafe with a few snacks - chocolate muffins, coffee and drinks but I’d suggest to eat before you go or plan for a bite in Itaewon down the street. I would definitely visit the Leeum Art Museum for a few hours on your next trip to Seoul and especially if you’re a new local like myself!
At The Cafe
THE LOBBY & CAFE
VISIT THE: Leeum Art Museum
Opening hours - 10:30 - 18:00 (Box office closes at 17:30)
We are closed every Monday, January 1, New Year's and Chuseok holidays
Group tours – for 20 or more people reservation is required (Group discounts are only available on weekdays)
Adults 10,000 won (Around $10.00 US)
Digital Guide 1,000 won
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04348
Tel: 02-2014-6901FROM THE SUBWAY:
From Hangangjin Station (Subway Line 6) Exit 1, walk straight for 100m towards Itaewon. Make a right turn at the first intersection and alley, walk up the hill for about 5 minutes.
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