‘Donation of the century’: South Korea unveils late Samsung boss’ 23,000-strong artwork assortment

Written by Oscar Holland, CNN

Contributors Yoonjung Search engine optimization, CNNJake Kwon, CNN

Museum guests have been given a primary take a look at among the 23,000 artworks donated to South Korea from the gathering of Samsung’s late chairman, Lee Kun-hee.

Two exhibitions of the objects opened in Seoul on Wednesday, simply months after the businessman’s household introduced the donation because it seeks to settle an inheritance tax invoice of over 12 trillion gained ($10.4 billion).

The works are exhibiting on the Nationwide Museum of Korea and Nationwide Museum of Trendy and Modern Artwork (MMCA), the recipients of Lee’s huge assortment. Gadgets on show embody centuries-old antiques and up to date Korean artworks, whereas work by Western names like Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet are set to be unveiled subsequent 12 months.

“Clearing after Rain on Mount Inwang,” created by courtroom painter Jeong Seon in 1751. Credit score: Courtesy Nationwide Museum of Korea

Lee, whose father based know-how conglomerate Samsung within the Nineteen Thirties, died last October aged 78. In April, his household introduced that it was anticipating to pay greater than half the worth of his property in inheritance tax over a interval of 5 years.

That very same day, South Korea’s Ministry of Tradition, Sports activities and Tourism revealed that the Lee household was donating roughly 23,000 antiques and artworks to public collections. In a press assertion on the time, the ministry stated the acquisition would assist the 2 establishments “compete with well-known museums overseas.”

Neither Lee’s kin nor the museums have disclosed the worth of the donation or confirmed how, and even whether or not, it can determine into the household’s inheritance tax commitments.

A portray by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, “La Lecture,” was among the many objects donated by Lee’s household to the Nationwide Museum of Trendy and Modern Artwork (MMCA). Credit score: Courtesy Nationwide Museum of Trendy and Modern Artwork

MMCA obtained nearly 1,500 of the works, in what the museum this week known as “the donation of the century.” In line with senior curator Park Mihwa, the gathering of work, drawings and sculptures represented the one largest contribution obtained by the museum “when it comes to each worth and scale.”

“The uncommon and main artworks of the early twentieth century and abroad works have vastly enhanced the standard and amount of the museum,” Park advised CNN, describing the acquisition as “a chance to develop the horizons of artwork historical past analysis by way of steady analysis.”

“We’ve obtained masterpieces that will have been troublesome to buy with our annual assortment funds of 5 billion gained ($4.35 million),” she added. “So we count on this assortment will assist artwork tourism in addition to assist South Korea to develop into a powerhouse of artwork tradition sooner or later.”

Artists ‘beloved by Koreans’

Among the many objects acquired by MMCA are 119 works by Western artists, together with Paul Gauguin, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró. However greater than 90% of the items are by up to date Korean artists, together with over 100 works by painter Lee Jungseop and nearly 70 by celebrated craftsman Yoo Kangyul.

"Women and Jars," by Korean painter Kim Whanki.

“Ladies and Jars,” by Korean painter Kim Whanki. Credit score: Courtesy Nationwide Museum of Trendy and Modern Artwork

The museum’s new exhibition options artwork created from the Nineteen Twenties to Seventies, spanning the durations of Japanese occupation, the Korean Battle and the following navy dictatorship. Park stated the present highlights work “by 34 artists beloved by Koreans,” together with influential panorama artist Byeon Gwansik, summary painter Kim Whanki and up to date sculptor Kwon Jinkyu.

On the Nationwide Museum of Korea, in the meantime, an exhibition of older artifacts from Lee’s assortment additionally opened Wednesday. The present options 45 historic objects, together with Buddhist statues, uncommon woodblock prints and Bronze Age earthenware.

The museum can be exhibiting a lot of objects deemed “Nationwide Treasures” by the South Korean authorities, together with an ink wash portray by the Joseon dynasty courtroom artist Jeong Seon and a gilt bronze bodhisattva courting again to the sixth century.

A bodhisattva, cast in bronze in the 6th century, was among the items deemed a "National Treasure" by South Korea's government.

A bodhisattva, solid in bronze within the sixth century, was among the many objects deemed a “Nationwide Treasure” by South Korea’s authorities. Credit score: Courtesy Nationwide Museum of Korea

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Tradition, Sports activities and Tourism revealed that it’s planning to construct a brand new museum devoted fully to Lee’s assortment, with two candidate websites in Seoul at the moment into account.

High picture: “Bull,” (c. Nineteen Fifties) by Korean painter Lee Jungseop.

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