The National Museum of Korea to Exhibit Lee Kun-hee Collection “A Collector's Invitation”

Date Apr 27, 2022

The National Museum of Korea (Director General MIN Byoungchan, NMK) will commemorate the first anniversary of the late Lee Kun-hee’s invaluable donation of antiques and artworks with an exhibit of 355 select pieces, starting on April 28. The four-month exhibit, called “A Collector’s Invitation,” is a joint remembrance organized by the National Museum of Korea in conjunction with the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, and five regional art museums.


In the exhibition, 308 pieces will be from 21,693 ancient artifacts donated to the National Museum of Korea. Thirty-five pieces will be from the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, which received 1,488 modern and contemporary objects of art, and a total of 12 pieces will be from five regional museums. They received 102 modern and contemporary artworks.


The artifacts from the National Museum of Korea will include six state-designated National Treasures and 15 Treasures. Among the most notable features of the exhibition will be “Clearing after Rain on Mount Inwang,” an 18th-century ink and wash painting by Jeong Seon of the Joseon Dynasty, and “Bodhisattva Triad with a Single Halo,” a gilt-bronze sculpture dated to the sixth-century Three Kingdoms Period, presented by the National Museum of Korea; “The Water-Lily Pond” by French Impressionist painter Claude Monet, from the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; and “A Leisurely Day,” a 1950s oil painting by Park Soo Keun, from the Park Soo Keun Museum.


The exhibition will consist of two parts: Part I, entitled “Into My House,” is a metaphorical space that illuminates Lee’s taste and eye for art and antiques as a collector; Part II, “Introduction to My Collection,” tells the story of human beings contained in his collection under four themes.


Part II begins with “Experience of Communion with Nature,” as mirrored in Joseon-era landscape paintings and contemporary paintings inspired by nature. It leads to the second section, “Wisdom of Using Natural Resources,” where earthenware, stoneware, celadon, and metal craft works are presented.


During the exhibit’s four-month run, some major paintings and calligraphic works will be replaced on a monthly rotating basis to minimize possible damage from exposure to light.  Video art on related themes will instead be presented. For example, “Clearing after Rain on Mount Inwang” by Jeong Seon (1676-1759) and “Sound of Autumn” by Kim Hong-do (1745-after 1806) will be shown in turn for a month each. Thereafter, “Winter Scene of Bulguksa Temple” (1996) by Park Dae-sung and “Butterflies” (1919) by Lee Gyeong-seung will replace them consecutively.


For more information, please visit the official website of the National Museum of Korea.