Leeum Samsung Museum of Art

leeum samsung museum of art building viewLeeum Samsung Museum of Art building in Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea

leeum samsung museum of art

Leeum Samsung Museum of Art is a renowned Seoul, South Korea, art facility. Regular visitors flock to see its new and exciting exhibitions.

The three prominent structures were skillfully crafted by renowned and celebrated architects Mario Botta, Jean Nouvel, and Rem Koolhaas.

Their exceptional designs are a proof to their expertise and artistic vision, which is reflected in the breathtaking buildings that stand tall and proud.

The Leeum Samsung Museum of Art is truly a gem in the heart of Seoul. It showcases a vast collection of art pieces that will leave you in awe.

The museum's three buildings are not just stunning architectural masterpieces but also house a diverse range of exhibits that cater to all tastes and interests.

leeum-samsung-museum-of-art-entranceLeeum Samsung Museum of Art - Entrance
leeum-samsung-museum-of-art-lobbyLeeum Samsung Museum of Art - Lounge

From ancient Korean pottery and ceramics to contemporary installations and paintings, Leeum has something for everyone. The museum's permanent collection includes works by renowned local and global artists.

The museum's state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge technology make it a top destination for art enthusiasts worldwide.

The galleries are designed to create an immersive experience that transports visitors to different eras and cultures.

Digital Art Presentation

leeum-samsung-sundialSundial

The Leeum Samsung Museum of Art has been recognized for its exceptional presentation of art items to the viewers.

One of the latest technologies introduced by the museum is the Digital Interactive Display (DID).

This technology offers an immersive experience that lets you observe the art pieces in detail by magnifying and rotating them 360 degrees!

DID technology is simple to use: You just need to touch the screen in front of you to access every corner of the art piece and appreciate it better digitally.

leeum-samsung-sarira-reliquary-unified-silla-706A Sarira container (Unified Silla period, 706)
leeum-samsung-incense-burner-goryeo-14th-centuryLeeum Samsung Museum of Art - Incense Burner (Goryeo Dynasty, 14th c.)

However, if you prefer to view the original artifact, it is also available for your observation. DID technology is a unique and innovative way of engaging with art, and it makes visiting the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art an unforgettable experience.

the museums

Now, let me describe each museum a bit so that you will know where to find your favorite items or archaeological artifacts.

Museum 1

Nestled in the heart of Seoul, the museum holds the most precious and breathtaking traditional Korean art pieces not found anywhere else.

As you step in, you'll be mesmerized by the beauty of the exquisite calligraphy, intricate metal crafts, delicate ceramic arts, and stunning Korean paintings that adorn the museum's walls.

Museum 1 is the crown jewel of the collection, boasting 36 national treasures dating back to ancient times.

The collection includes landscapes and folk paintings, traditional ceramics and porcelain, such as Celadon and Buncheong, a bluish-green traditional Korean stoneware, 14th-century daggers, crowns, earrings, and other ornaments, and Buddhist art, sculptures, paintings, and manuscripts.

korea national museum buddha statuettesSamples of ancient Buddha statues (Korea National Museum)
ancient-ceramics-celadon-lobed-bottle-goryeo-dynastyCeladon

Designed by the renowned Swiss architect Mario Botta, Museum 1 is a masterpiece of modern architecture.

The building consists of two large geometric volumes, a reverse cone, and a simple hexahedral shape, covered in terra cotta bricks that give it an earthy and rustic feel.

As you step inside, you'll be greeted by a spacious lobby, a grand rotunda, and several exhibition spaces that showcase traditional Korean artifacts.

The basement lobby, created by the reverse cone penetrating the ground, is the heart of the museum and connects Museum 2 and the Samsung Child Education & Culture Center.

Visitors begin and end their tours in this area, making it the perfect starting point for exploring the museum. Above the lobby is the white-walled dome, a stunning backdrop for the displayed artifacts.

The exhibition spaces in Museum 1 are organized in a hexahedral shape, and visitors start at the top and walk down through the four floors, each showcasing a different collection of traditional Korean artifacts, including ceramics, swords, jewelry, and other treasures.

As you move from floor to floor, you'll be transported back in time and get a glimpse of the rich cultural heritage of Korea.

Museum 2

Immerse yourself in modern and contemporary art at Museum 2, masterfully designed by Jean Nouvel. This artistic haven boasts an impressive collection of works from Korean and foreign artists, including Damien Hirst, Warhol, Rothko, Yves Klein, and Donald Judd. 

As you go through the museum, you'll be struck by the stunning sunken garden and imposing gabion walls. The walls, made of iron and filled with rocks from the construction process, provide a striking backdrop to the garden's birch trees and ferns.

Inside the main exhibition hall, the post-tension building techniques used create a completely open space without any supporting posts, allowing the art to take center stage.

And that's not all - Rem Koolhaas was commissioned to design the Samsung Child Education & Culture Center and the museum's master plan.

As you enter the lobby of Museum 1 through Koolhaas's glass structure, you'll be awed by the wooden ramp and pavilion demarcating the threshold.

The pilotis provide a view of the surrounding buildings and site, while lighting, piloti, and ramps create a unique mixing chamber between the glass wall and the Black box. 

But that's not all—the Sculpture Garden, located over the parking garage, is a breathtaking display of sculptural exhibits.

The rectangular strip of gravel and vegetation, framed by a wooden deck, leads to the garden's impressive display of works.

Recently, two of Louise Bourgeois's Maman sculptures were featured in the garden, adding to the impressive collection. Get ready to be blown away by the beauty, creativity, and innovation of Museum 2.

Accessible Facilities

The museum is dedicated to promoting art and culture, both locally and internationally. To ensure that all visitors have a pleasant experience, Leeum has ensured that its facilities cater to everyone's needs.

Let's check out their facilities...

Firstly, a digital guide offering detailed information about its exhibits is available for visitors. You can also find a Leeum Cafe and a Leeum Shop, where you can grab a bite to eat or purchase souvenirs to take home.

leeum-samsung-museum-of-art-cafe

Parking can be a hassle, so the museum has designated visitor spaces. The museum is wheelchair accessible, and have a wheelchair ramp for those who need it. They also offer free wheelchair rental so you can explore the museum comfortably.

Leeum Museum has elevators and designated restrooms, which are easily accessible to everyone. It has spaces where you can rest and contemplate the art you have just seen.

The admission fee is 14,000 Korean Won per person. However, they offer a discounted rate for university students with a school ID, visitors under 24, and seniors above 65.

Additionally, they offer a discounted rate during 'Culture Day,' which falls on the last Wednesday of every month.

I hope you have a wonderful time at our museum. Please let them know if you require any assistance during your visit. Enjoy exploring our galleries and experiencing the world of art!

Getting to Leeum Samsung Museum of Art

Although parking space is available, you are advised to take public transport to avoid unexpected discomforts that could 'ruin' your excitement or day!

So, you can take Seoul Subway Line 6 and get off at Hangangjin Station, then out from Exit 1.

From Exit 1, go straight ahead for about 100 meters to Itaewon direction. Then turn RIGHT at the first intersection and alley, then walk up for 5 minutes to reach the museum.

Foreign Visitors Interpretation Service
For the Docent Tour, the Permanent Exhibition is available on weekends from 3 PM but only in English.

Address: 60-16, Itaewon-ro 55-Gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 용산구 이태원로55길 60-16 (한남동)

Phone Inquiry: +82-2-2014-6901
Business Hours: from 10:30 AM to 6 PM. It is closed on Mondays and special holidays such as Seollal (New Year).

Website: www.leeum.samsungfoundation.org (Korean, English)

Thanks for reading through this article. Updates and more photos will be included soon!

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