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MMCA saves session for elderly for Lee Kun-hee collection exhibition

An installation view of “MMCA Lee Kun-hee Collection: Masterpieces of Korean Art” at the MMCA Seoul (MMCA)
An installation view of “MMCA Lee Kun-hee Collection: Masterpieces of Korean Art” at the MMCA Seoul (MMCA)

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea’s exhibition of 54 modern art masterpieces bequeathed by the Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee has become the most popular exhibition in the museum’s history, with reservations filling fast as soon as time slots open each day.

In efforts to consider older visitors, the museum reserves the 10 a.m. slot on Tuesdays for the over-65s. The museum provides a total of eight sessions each day, each allowing 20 visitors for an hour - with an additional three sessions on Wednesdays and Saturdays, when the museum has extended operating hours.

The museum opens reservations two weeks ahead of time.

“Slots are available for anyone, but we put aside one session on Tuesday for the elderly after we found some older people having difficulties to make online reservations, which is competitive,” an official from the museum told The Korea Herald. 


An installation view of “MMCA Lee Kun-hee Collection: Masterpieces of Korean Art” at the MMCA Seoul (MMCA)
An installation view of “MMCA Lee Kun-hee Collection: Masterpieces of Korean Art” at the MMCA Seoul (MMCA)


The exhibition has been so popular that scalpers had been selling tickets illegally, which are now eradicated after the museum took actions to stop online ticket touting. Second-hand tickets were changing hands for around 100,000 won to 150,000 won ($85-$125), while the exhibition is free of charge.

“We have contacted the websites to request for regulation of posts that contain keywords related to the exhibition because they are against the law of unjust enrichment when the exhibition is free for the public,” the official said.

The artworks on display can be seen through the museum’s app, accompanied by digital audio guides in Korean provided by South Korea’s veteran actor Yoo Hae-jin. An audio guide is also available in English through the app.

Running through March 13, the exhibition features Korea’s modern art masterpieces that were rarely seen until they were donated to the museum. Lee’s family donated more than 23,000 artworks that Lee had collected to MMCA and The Museum of Korea. The exhibition of Lee’s collection at the Museum of Korea ended Sept. 26.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)

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