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Leeum Museum of Art starts afresh

After a year and a half on hold, Leeum Museum of Art and Ho-Am Art Museum resume operation in early October.

A view of the remodeled lobby at Leeum Museum of Art (Leeum Museum of Art)
A view of the remodeled lobby at Leeum Museum of Art (Leeum Museum of Art)

The Leeum Museum of Art is set to reopen on Oct. 8 after undergoing an “exceptionally large-scale” renewal, according to the Samsung Foundation of Culture on Monday.

The museum will reopen with “Human, 7 Questions” as its first thematic exhibition since Hong Ra-hee, wife of the late Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee, stepped down as director in March 2017 after 13 years. Her resignation came as her only son, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, was embroiled in a bribery scandal involving former President Park Geun-hye.

Since Feb. 25, 2020 when the pandemic started to hit the country, the museum has only offered a virtual exhibition of its permanent collection on its website.

“The museum had an exceptionally large-scale renewal. It will be led by Lee Seo-hyun, chair of the steering committee of the Leeum Museum of Art, while the director’s post remains vacant,” a foundation official told The Korea Herald.

The museum has completed remodeling its overall design, including the lobby space, and upgraded digital services such as the media wall and digital guide, with the aim to become a “future-oriented” museum, according to the foundation. It also made changes to its permanent exhibition that introduces Korea’s traditional and contemporary art.

The upcoming exhibition “Human, 7 Questions” will pose fundamental questions about human existence.

Coinciding with the Leeum’s reopening, Ho-Am Art Museum in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, will also reopen after 19 months with a new exhibition, “Metallurgy: Great Wisdom,” featuring Korean metalcraft art.

The Ho-Am Art Museum was founded in 1982 to house the large body of traditional Korean art collected by Lee Byung-chull, founder of the Samsung Group, whose pen name was “Hoam.”

By Park Yuna (