Leeum, Samsung Museum Of Art is a fascinating museum that focuses on traditional and modern works of art by artists from Korea and from around the world. The museum and its galleries, some of the most esteemed in all of Korea, opened in 2004.
Leeum, Samsung Museum Of Art is located just east of the international nightlife area of Itaewon.
Over 120 artifacts are on display over four floors across three buildings. These works, many which are national treasures, include paintings, calligraphies, ceramics, metal works, and Buddhist sculptures.
One building displays traditional art while the other building exhibits modern and contemporary art. The third building, known as the Samsung Child Education & Culture Center, is a space used for the next generation of artists and cultural leaders.
Museum 1 is a permanent display of Korean traditional art dating back to prehistoric times. A large collection of artifacts found here are from the Goryeo Dynasty (937-1392) and the Joseon Dynasty (1395-1910). The building was designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta.
B1 – Lobby
1F – Buddhist art and metal works
2F – Paintings and calligraphy
3F – Buncheong ware and porcelain
4F – Celadon
Museum 2 features over 80 works of modern and contemporary art by Korean and international artists. Korean art found here dates back to 1910 while international works date back to the end of the second World War in 1945. The building was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.
B1 – Contemporary art
1F – International modern art
2F – Korean modern art
Modern art in Museum 2 focuses on a certain number of Korean artists.
Artists Chungjeon Lee Sang-beom and Sojung Byeon Kwan-sik were some of the first to make the transition from traditional to modern techniques with Korean Oriental paintings. Artists Lee In-sung, Lee Joong-Seop, Park Soo-keun, and Chang Uc-chin mixed Western style and Korean style methods of painting. Works of art by Kim Whan-ko and Nam June Paik have been internationally recognized and set the bar for modern art in Korea.
International artists are also recognized here for their contributions to modern art. Some of these artists include Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Andreas Gursky, Alberto Giacometti, Francis Bacon, Joseph Beuys, and even Andy Warhol.