The Leeum Museum has been on on my museum list for a while. Before, me and my friend were always too busy to visit and then I left Korea.. Now, that I had returned the opportunity to finally visit the museum was a must. So on a rainy public holiday, these two art lovers set out to fulfil our museum goal.
Where is it?
The museum is located on the Eastern slopes of Namsan mountain in Itaewon. The nearest metro station is Hangangjin on Line 6 and you go out exit 1.
The Museum’s Design
The Leeum museums boasts some seriously beautiful contemporary architecture. It comprises of wood, steel, stone and glass with a large bubble sculpture on the lawn over looking Seoul.
The building comprises of three sections, the funnel-shaped building houses the Classic Korean antiquities and art, while the grey and black building contains contemporary and modern art works from well known international artists around the globe. A neon sign in Cooper font states “Memories of the future”.
The interior contains a lobby area, cafe, gift shop and some art sculptures. LED screens display video installations of contemporary art before entering the modern art halls. You can also see the winding funnel design which takes you into the Korean classical art halls.
The museum houses an amazing collection of works. The collection is a private one from one of the owners that form part of the Samsung family. The works range from Andy Warhol, Rothke, to Takashi Murakami. There are some amazing sculptures and installations to view and experience too.
The other side of the museum exhibits Korean traditional antiques and art works. Exquisite pottery made in now lost techniques form semi-precious stones.
Even though I cannot show you the amazing exhibition rooms and works, I did capture some of the amazing interior and architectural design. The original vision of the museum was not actually met due to an array of issues, however the present result is beautiful and harmonious. To reach the different levels and exhibition halls you can take an elevator or the funnel stairs that lead you to various rooms. The experience of walking though the exhibit and rooms is amazing. Be sure to check out the cool exit lobby adorned with changing loop light installations and mirrors.
Visitors are only allowed to take photos of the exterior, entrance lobby and stairs areas. Unfortunately, no camera or photo were allowed on the exhibition rooms or of the art works. Also, no backpacks are allowed inside the exhibition halls. Hand bags are allowed.
This is definitely a must for any art lover visiting Seoul!
The Leeum Samsung Museum is open everyday except for National Korean public holidays from 10am to 6pm. The address is 60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea.
Here is a quick video of the highlights (Yes, I’m still trying to make decent videos)