Seoul, Design destination

10 juillet 2016

Considered as the new Tokyo, Seoul enjoys an enviable reputation, especially thanks to its TV-shows, KPop or the Hallyu Culture ... But that is not all: the largest city of South Korea offers a large range of attractions such as delicate palaces, lively markets and an indecent number of shopping malls. Nature wise, its harmonious gardens, mountains and wild rivers are a perfect alternative for those who need some evasion.

The cultural life of Seoul is as effervescent as its inhabitants as new exhibitions kick off almost every day.

A City that counts in the International Contemporary Art Scene

The city values art so much that most exhibitions are free.  In this urban jungle, artistic interludes become a privileged moment of peace and serenity, all the more so when the location is as outstanding as the Leeum Samsung Museum. Flanked by the Hangang River, the Museum embodies the perfect harmony between architecture and nature. The building hosts three sections, each one made by three internationally renowned architects. Museum 1, for Korean traditional art, was design by the swiss architect Mario Botta;  the French architect Jean Nouvel worked on the contemporary art section in  the Museum 2– as for the Samsung Child Education and Culture Center, Rem Koolhaas drew the lines of this section dedicated to temporary exhibitions.  From one building to another, Jeef Koons, Andy Warhol and ancient Korean artworks harmoniously coexist. Through July 31, an exhibition is by the way dedicated to Buncheong ware, the traditional Korean stoneware. But the highlight of the summer is definitely the Artspectrum, the South Korean Biennale that will be held until August 5.

Comtemporary Art is not the preserve of the Leeum Samasung Museum. Seoul’s affection for this discipline is so obvious that several locations, such as the KukjeGallery and its artworks by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anish Kapoor or Damien Hirst, are scattered throughout the city. Just like the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, mainly established in Gwacheon with three branches each in Deoksugung, Seoul and Cheongju. Leading Korean artists will be exposed there until the end of July. SeMA and SOMA are more confidential but will be mandatory for every contemporary art aficionado!

 

From tradition to modernity

Just like the city, its museums oscillate between tradition and modernity. The National Museum of Korea proudly exhibits the national treasures. It is the largest museum in Korea and the sixth in the world. Those gigantic proportions host six permanent exhibitions among which archeology, history or art. A day won’t certainly be enough but will give you a good comprehension of the national culture.

As for the National Palace Museum, it features over 20.000 relics from the Joseon dynasty, explaining the ancestral rites and customs. Inside the palace, visitors will have the chance to immerse themselves into the royal family way of life, through for instance the King’s office or the Queen’s quarters. By getting the best of both worlds – modern and ancient; oriental and occidental; the Korean society has created its own keys to success.  

SEOUL GALLERY

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