To coincide with Singulart’s brand new presence in the South Korean market, discover the capital city’s best artistic offerings. Innovation abounds in the modern metropolis, and it has long been home to architectural feats and design breakthroughs. From contemplating modern masters in major museums to strolling streets decorated with murals, discover a fascinating side of Seoul.
Seoul Museum of Art
The Seoul Museum of Art (or SeMA) is an easy place to start. A sprawling public museum with multiple satellite locations, it offers interesting and accessible collections and rotating exhibitions, as well as educational programs. Recent exhibitions have included ‘Eternal Narcissist,’ ‘Soft Chaos’ and a David Hockney collection.
Ihwa Mural Village
In 2006, South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism launched a public art project to transform a decaying suburb of the city into a buzzing cultural hub. With aims to pay tribute to the rich history of street painting in South Korea, local artists began adorning walls, doors and staircases with swirling shapes and bright colors. While the project initially achieved a revitalized community spirit, residents began to feel frustrated at the influx of tourists and harbored concerns about their privacy. If you’re considering a visit to Ihwa Mural Village, it’s always important to uphold respect for local residents and keep their comfort in mind.
Arario Museum is the brainchild of famous South Korean art collector and artist Ci Kim. With a self-made, multi-million dollar empire and a firm passion for art, Kim has a long-held dedication to supporting all kinds of artists, particularly Asian artists and emerging creatives, and his contemporary art museum in Seoul is just some of the fruit of his labor (Kim has also founded Arario Museums in Shanghai, Cheonan and Jeju.) Arario Museum in Seoul sits in a renovated building that previously served as the offices of an architectural firm, and retains both its character and purpose of simplicity. Ci Kim’s 3,700-piece collection features works from artists such as Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, and Han Man-Young.
Art Basel regular and esteemed talent-spotter, Kukje Gallery is one of Korea’s finest. Its principal focus is the promotion of contemporary Korean talent, though the gallery has also showcased works by international heavyweights such as Anish Kapoor and Jean Michel Basquiat. Kukje has 3 locations – K1, K2 and K3, and each gallery building itself is arguably as intriguing as many of the artworks it houses. From boxy dimensions and dominant washes of gray to art installations on the roof, both prestige and play are on display.
Seoul Arts Center
More than a museum, Seoul Arts Center (or SAC) houses a vast network of creative avenues. Home to the Korea National Ballet, Korea National Opera, the Korean Symphony Orchestra and more, it proposes concert halls alongside separate museums for Art and Design. A visit to SAC allows one to marvel at the impressive scope of Korean talent, from abstract paintings to arabesques.