South Korea

Seoul: National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA)

This is a post that’s a little out of its chronological order – as you can tell from the pictures, I visited the Modern Art Museum in winter (actually in December 2013) but I’ve never written about it. So I figured that the next time I do a series of posts about Seoul (i.e. now), I’ll include them.

Seoul Museum of Modern Art 2013-0

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) Seoul opened in November 2013 and focuses on different aspects of post-nineteenth-century art. It displays quality artworks of different subjects from famous local and international artists.

Seoul Museum of Modern Art 2013-00

The main branch of the museum is in Gwacheon, but the Seoul addition is so much easier to access for tourists visiting South Korea – all you have to do is walk across the road from Gyeongbokgung Palace, Samcheongdong-gil Road and Bukchon Hanok Village.

Seoul Museum of Modern Art 2013-3

The new building combines a traditional Korean-style house of Jongchinbu, the office for royal family affairs during the Joseon dynasty, a red-brick building that was constructed in 1913 as the Capital Army Hospital under the Japanese rule and had housed the office of the Defense Security Command since the 1970s and a contemporary-style structure made of ivory terracotta and glass curtain walls. It has three levels and eight exhibition halls – when I visited the museum, the focus of the exhibition was on “Zeitgeist” and there were some really great artworks on display. Including a garden of real flowers where you could take one out of the museum, provided you give it to someone else as a gift!

Seoul Museum of Modern Art 2013-2

Seoul Museum of Modern Art 2013-1

Probably one of the highlights was this blue house – which is called Home within Home within Home within Home. It’s a life-size (12 meters in height, 15 meters in width) replica by Do Ho Suh of a three-story town house at Providence, Rhode Island, which was the artist’s first residence where he lived as a student in the United States in 1991 and ‘Seoul Home,’ a reproduction of his family’s traditional-style Korean house in Seoul, hanging in the middle of the former.

Seoul Museum of Modern Art 2013-4

Seoul Museum of Modern Art 2013-5

Useful info:

  • The MMCA is at 30 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • It is open every day from 10am to 6pm except Monday
  • On Wednesday and Saturday the opening hours are extended to 9pm
  • The Admission fee is 7,000 won and includes special exhibitions
  • Direction: Get off at Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 5, walk straight for about 700 meters (10 minutes on foot) OR Get off at Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3, Exit 1, walk straight for 750 meters (12 minutes on foot)

Seoul Museum of Modern Art 2013-6


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