Arts & Entertainment

Art collection of late Samsung leader exhibited in Seoul

Seoul, Apr 27 (EFE).- An exhibition that displays the best of the thousands of art pieces former Samsung President Lee Kun-hee collected during his life until his death in 2020, opened Thursday at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul.

The exhibition, which will last until Aug. 28, aims to celebrate the first anniversary of the donation of some 23,000 pieces from his huge collection to five South Korean national museums and delves into Lee’s sensibility as a collector.

It comprises 355 pieces ranging from prehistoric metal artifacts to 21st century pictorial works, a selection twice as large and even more select than the anthology of works also collected by Lee that Seoul’s Korea Museum of Contemporary Art has been hosting since July.

Ceramics, furniture, sculptures, oil paintings or calligraphy pieces come together in the exquisite selection of the NMK, entitled “A collector’s invitation” and which will only be open to the public for four months in order to avoid overexposing many of the works.

It will only admit 100 visitors per hour, a limitation that has led tickets to be sold out until June.

A Trio of Bodhisattvas Carved in Bronze in the 6th Century or “Mount Inwang Clearing Up After the Rain” by Jeong Seong, one of the pinnacle pictorial works of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897), are among the gems of ancient Korean art that can be seen on the tour.

There are also pieces by renowned contemporary painters such as Lee Jung-seop, Park Soo-keun and Kim Whanki, one of the most international names in South Korean art and pioneers of abstraction in the country. “Brahms,” one of the famous video installations by Nam June Paik, a member of the Fluxus movement, is also exhibited.

In the eclectic selection there is also room for one of the hundreds of paintings that Claude Monet made of the pond with water lilies in his house in Giverny, for now the only foreign work from the Lee Kun-hee collections that will be exhibited.

Works by Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Joan Miro or Salvador Dali donated by the Lee family to the Korean government will have to wait for future exhibitions or for the construction of the museum to be completed 2026 in Jongno district, in Seoul. EFE


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