Rest of the best: Jeju’s art, design museums

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Rest of the best: Jeju’s art, design museums

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Jeju Island, best known for its natural scenery and leisure sports such as trekking and horse riding, is now emerging as a home for contemporary art. In addition to the three Arario Museums that opened to the public yesterday, more than 10 galleries featuring modern and contemporary art have launched on the island since 2000.

Here are five of the best.



1. Jeju Museum of Art

Jeju’s public museum, located in the northern part of the island, is an dark exposed concrete structure. It sits in pools of water that almost appear to support the building. Surrounded by greenery, this modern gallery epitomizes the contrast of art and nature on Jeju Island.

The museum is currently holding three different exhibitions. Among them “Art of Healing: Emptying and Filling” features contemporary paintings, photos and installations by 12 artists based on landscapes and the great outdoors.

Entrance is 1,000 won for adults. For details, visit http://jmoa.jeju.go.kr/ or call (064) 710-4300.



2. Jeoji Art Village and the Jeju Museum of Contemporary Art

This western Jeju art village is a base for 48 artists and scholars, including famous abstract painter Park Seo-bo.

A hanok, or traditional Korean house, and a modern minimalist structure are among the diverse studios set inside the locale, which presents visitors with a picturesque scene.

At the center of the village stands the Jeju Museum of Contemporary Art. Notably, painters Kim Heungsou and Park Kwang-jin contributed art to the museum in 2006.

Kim, who died last June at age 95, created “Harmonism,” a piece from the early 1970s that depicts cohesion between the invisible and visible world.

Entrance is 1,000 won for adults. For more information, visit www.jejumuseum.go.kr or call (064) 710-7801.



3. Museums in Pinx Biotopia

Pinx Biotopia is a resort-like complex in western Jeju.

The Three Art Museums Water, Stone and Wind as well as the Duson Museums - all designed by Korean-Japanese architect Jun Itami(1937-2011) - are based here.

Art Museum Water (above) allows the sun and the clouds to shine through onto the water in its central pool.

Art Museum Wind looks like an ordinary wood cabin from outside, yet when inside you can hear the sounds of a gale blowing through the gaps in the planks.

Visitors to any restaurant in Pinx Biotopia can visit the Water and Wind museums, while the other two are exclusively for residents in the complex.

For more information, visit www.thepinx.co.kr/biotopia/ or call (064) 793-6000.



4. Bonte Museum

The museum, located in the western part of Jeju island, was designed by Japanese architect Ando Tadado.

Bonte means “original form” in Korean.

Traditional Korean craftworks, including wooden furniture, embroidery and ceramics represent a large part of the museum’s collection.

It has a contemporary art collection that includes works by the famous French painter Fernand Leger, too, and is also holding a special solo show of Japanese contemporary artist Kusama Yayoi, who is famous for her use of dots.

Entry costs 10,000 won for adults. For details, visit www.bontaemuseum.com or call (064) 792-8108.



5. Lee Joong Seop Gallery

On the southern coast of Jeju stands Lee Joong Seop Gallery.

Lee (1916-1956), one of the most important painters in Koeran modern art history, spent a year in the island’s Seogwipo City as a refugee during the 1950-53 Korean War. Although his stay was short, he produced many important pieces here.

To commemorate the artist, the city purchased and restored the house he lived in. The museum is located just behind it.

It exhibits 68 works by Korean painters, including eight of Lee’s masterpieces.

Entry is 1,000 won for adults, 300 won for children. For details, visit http://jslee.seogwipo.go.kr/ or call (064) 733-3555


by KIM JI-MIN contributing writer [estyle@joongang.co.kr]

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