Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, located in Itaewon, Seoul in South Korea. The building itself and inside is as modern as our impression of Samsung. It is inspiring that the lobby is decorated with installation art.
The private collection of Samsung can be separated into two parts: Korean traditional art and modern art. They display in isolated buildings. Nevertheless, I just visited the traditional part because I only got half of a day there. The traditional Korean art contains ceramics, paintings, calligraphy, Buddhist art, metal craft, and woodcraft. Comparing with a similar collection in the National Museum of Korea, the collection of Leeum is apparently not that comprehensive but unique. Some of the ceramics are less delicate, but really show the evolution of ceramic style.
Must-do: Rent an Auto Audio Guide
The visiting experience here was really different from other museums or galleries. The audio guides in Leeum is really unique that they can provide information automatically. During the visit, I was immersed in such experience without any disruption. The audio-guided tour started from the staircase. The building has three-floor, and each floor has different topics of traditional art. Walking downstairs, I was introduced to the next part of the arts. When I walked close to an item, the guide automatically told me the background knowledge of the nearest item, without any action. It was amazing.
Traditionally, the whole process is that audiences stand near the exhibits, then search to see whether there is a guide number (actually not all of the items have guiding information). After audiences find the number, they manually enter the number in guide machines. This process can be bothering. Another conventional way to gain extra information is to register for guided tours. Nevertheless, people cannot select their preferred displays and exhibitions. What the participants have seen is mainly determined by docents. None of these two methods are satisfied. The machines are disrupting while gallery tours are lack of freedom. Also, they both provide limited but comprehensive information.
The audio guides in Leeum really solve this dilemma. Each exhibit has a sensor to trigger the speaking, so people are able to release their hands and focus on the machine. Also, since almost all of the items have sensors, audiences are free to learn more about any items that they are interested in. I believe that this awesome solution must be quite expensive since they record everything. (Yeah, Samsung is a giant business.) Thus, I highly recommend visitors to rent the audio guide to gain this fantastic experience.
To find out more information, please visit its official website.