In 2004, Samsung Museum of Art, which has strived to preserve our cultural heritage and share it with the public under the efforts of the Samsung Foundation of Culture, established in 1965, opened Leeum, Samsung Museum of art. Nestled in Hannam-dong in buildings newly constructed for the museum, Leeum has now grown into one of the aleading museums of Korea, through notable activities and accomplishments, including exhibitions of its highly-regarded collection and special exhibitions.
To become an open 21st century museum of convergence, contributing to the creation of culture.
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art is an open museum where traditional art, embodying the beauty of Korea and contemporary art, representing the energy of our times, and international art, reflecting current values coexist. Leeum wishes to become a museum of convergence where we ponder the future based on our understanding of the past and the present, and an institution where culture is enjoyed collectively through active communication with visitors.
To contribute to the creation of culture with creativity, innovation and experimental ideas.
To seek ways of integrating tradition and modernity art and technology, western and eastern cultures, diverse genres of art.
To communicate with viewers through a variety of programs and to serve as a culture platform between Korea and the international community.
To communicate with viewers and contribute to further enriching art and life.
Acting as a socially-aware leader of culture that communicates with the public is the most important responsibility of Leeum as a museum. To fulfill this role, Leeum has presented exhibitions on themes pertinent to our world today, major retrospectives of and important artists, as well as comprehensive academic events and educational programs, based on expertise in exhibition-planning, education and conservation. Leeum will continue to fulfill its role as a museum that broadens the horizon of the art of our times and leads the culture of the future.
Leeum MI (Museum Identity)
Leeum is a name that combine ‘Lee' the family name of the Founder of Samsung, and 'um' of the word ‘museum’. Margot Perman, who was in charge of designing the MI for Leeum created a unique logo. that is a modern interpretation of typography in ancient Roman engravings, with a combination of capital and lowercase letters that have the same height. The timeline motif that runs through the center of the letters symbolizes the Museum character, spanning the range of traditional and contemporary art, as well as the future.
In 2014, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the museum, Leeum redesigned its existing MI, which symbolized continuity of time, connecting the past, the present, and the future. In particular, the ‘Supergraphics’ and patterns that were developed for consistency of design and identity, assists the logo as a graphic element, while enhancing aesthetic impression and noticeability. Currently, the Supergraphics can be found in a variety of places in Leeum, including our exhibition admission tickets, publications, such as our newsletters and museum shop items.
Interacting with Living Art at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art.
Located at Han Nam Dong on the slope of Namsan and flanked by the Hangang River, Leeum provides a uniquely harmonious view of nature and architecture. MUSEUM 1, which occupies a site of 700 pyeong (1 pyeong is 3.3 m2.) with a total floor area of 3,000 pyeong, displays Korean traditional art, and MUSEUM 2, on a site of 500 pyeong, with a total floor area of 1,500 pyeong, houses contemporary art. The Samsung Child Education & Culture Center, located at the entrance of Leeum, is built in an area of 1,200 pyeong with a total floor area of 3,900 pyeong. This Center is an educational facility for improving the creativity of future generations. MUSEUM 1 and MUSEUM 2 showcase critically acclaimed artworks. Unlike MUSEUM 1 and 2, The Samsung Child Education & Culture Center, which has educational and exhibition functions, is a free space for contemporary and future art. Each of the three buildings was designed with innovative techniques that reflect each architect’s unique style.
Mario Botta visualized the beauty of Korean porcelain by using terra cotta tiles, which symbolize earth and fire. Jean Nouvel, the first in the world to use glass and rusted stainless steel, expressed the cutting-edge quality of contemporary art through his design. Rem KoolHaas used rare materials, such as black concrete, to create Black Box, and designed a futuristic architectural space that appears to be floating in the air.
Leeum designed by three internationally acclaimed architects: Jean Nouvel, Rem Koolhaas, and Mario Botta, each with three distinctive styles, represents a rare historical incident in that it brought together some of the greatest architects of our time to build one museum.
MUSEUM 1 was designed by the Swiss architect Mario Botta and MUSEUM 2 which stands alongside MUSEUM 1, was designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel. These museum buildings, along with Samsung Child Education & Culture Center, compose a public cultural complex.
The three architects gained fame from their fresh visions of city culture and their unique designs. The buildings of Leeum built over a period of eight years (1996-2004), comprise a harmonious cultural complex of buildings with distinct character, internationally recognized in modern architecture.