Art Museums in Seoul

I hope you all are staying warm! These past few weeks in Korea have been cold! In particular, this past weekend was probably the coldest weekend of them all. Unfortunately, frozen toes and hands have become my norm. Not fun.

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Because of the cold, I’ve found it hard to find motivation to do anything. I don’t want to go outside, and have thus been doing a lot of touring indoors. I’m pretty museumed out, to be honest, but I know it’ll all be worth it when it starts getting warmer and I am able to spend my time outdoors instead of museum hopping.

Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve gone to a grand total of 3 art museums! That’s a lot of art to try and take in.

But it’s been fun, so I thought I’d recap some of my adventures.

I hadn’t planned on going to an art museum this day, but when I went to a mall in the morning and realized I wasn’t going to buy anything, I thought, “What the heck. I might as well see something interesting.”

The first art museum I headed to was the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Before heading to this place, I did a bit of walking around in Insadong, a really neat touristy place full of hanoks (really cool traditional, Korean houses).

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Thankfully, it wasn’t TOO cold this weekend, and I was able to walk around for a while. But when I had my fill of taking in the sights, I went to the museum, which was in a neat area full of small cafes and shops. I’ll have to head back there another time to get the full experience.

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is a fairly inexpensive museum to tour. And if you’re a student, you get free admission!

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The museum was bigger than I thought it’d be, and I stayed in there for a good 3-4 hours. The special exhibit, Peripheral Thinking by William Kentridge, was incredible! I’ve never seen such interactive art. Though Mr. Kentridge’s pieces aren’t blatantly political, I found them to touch on issues of race and social activism. If you know me at all, you know this is obviously right up my valley. I especially loved his pieces because he uses a lot of video installations, which as a film major, I was highly interested in.

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My favorite piece!

My favorite piece!

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The rest of the museum was also interesting, but William Kentridge’s exhibit was the highlight.

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This robot scared me!

This robot scared me!

In case you wanted to see how many trash cans even the museum has. Korea is clean.

In case you wanted to see how many trash cans the museum has. Korea is clean, y’all.

And though nothing exciting happened on Sunday, I did get to eat the most delicious pancakes. My goodness I miss good breakfast foods.

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This past weekend, I didn’t have a ton of time, so I was only able to visit one location on Saturday — the Leeum, Samsung Art Museum.

This museum specializes in showcasing traditional Korean art. It was a welcome change from the modern pieces I’ve been viewing the past couple of weekends, but even so, I didn’t stay too long. I did enjoy the museum’s architecture!

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They also had a contemporary art section, and I found this more entertaining than the traditional Korean pieces. I’ve realized that I tend to enjoy modern art over traditional Korean art.

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I got in trouble for taking this picture.

I got in trouble for taking this picture.

After this museum, I headed to another part of Seoul to meet the refugee I’m tutoring . . . but not before eating the most delicious bimbibap lunch ever! It was FREEZING this past Saturday (I think 7 degrees was the high), so I was grateful for a hot meal.


The last museum I visited was this past Sunday after church. I spent the majority of my day hanging out in my church’s coffee shop, talking with friends and drinking hot drinks.

But towards the evening, I met up with some friends who are moving back to their homes in Germany. I wanted to hang out with them one last time before their leaving.

To celebrate our time together, we went to the 63 Sky Art Museum. This is the highest art museum in the world!

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The art museum was simply okay for the price, but the view was spectacular! We were able to see all of Seoul. This was my first time seeing Seoul from this perspective.

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The Han River was frozen in sections.

The Han River was frozen in sections.

After walking around and taking pictures, we ate a healthy dinner of french fries before saying our farewells.

As you may guess, I am ready to take a break from the museums and head to new places. This weekend, my only plans are to go salsa dancing with a friend, experience my first (and maybe last) dentist appointment in Korea, tutor, and head to church.

School starts next week and I also need to prepare for it. This next week cannot go fast enough, as I am DYING to get to Thailand next Saturday. I have been ready for this for months!


What do you think?