Previous Exhibition

A Beautiful Legacy_An Affinity Brought by Lee Kun-hee’s Art Collection
A Beautiful Legacy_An Affinity Brought by Lee Kun-hee’s Art Collection
  • ·Period

    2021.06.29 ~ 2021.08.15

  • ·Venue

    Gwangju Museum of Art 5, 6 Gallery

  • ·Admission Fee


  • ·Sponsorship

    Gwangju Museum of Art

Number of Works

30 Pieces of Lee Kun-Hee’s Art Collection, 40 Pieces of GMA Collection


The late Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee’s art collection caught a lot of attention in May this year. The Gwangju Museum of Art (GMA) received a donation from this collection of 30 pieces by representative modern and contemporary Korean artists who made their mark in Korean art history. The donated artworks are mostly Western-style and Korean-style paintings including five pieces by Kim Whanki, five pieces by Oh Ji-ho, 11 pieces by Lee Ung-no, eight pieces by Lee Jung-sup, and one piece by Yim Jik-soon.
We feel sure that these donated works of academic and cultural value will contribute to the advancement of local art. In addition to this, the GMA as a representative local art museum has increased its role in encompassing a wide range of Korean art from Namdo art to modern Korean art. And, its new acquisition of various, high-quality artworks will infuse new life into the Gwangju art community along with its collection to be used for exhibitions and educational and academic purposes. It is our hope that these new donations will serve as momentum to reinforce and make known the significance and value of the museum’s collection.


These donated artworks are deemed critical materials to indicate how a turning point was brought about and developed in the flow of Korean art history. Kim Whanki and Lee Ung-no brought abstract expressionism into Korean art through the processes of figuration, semi-abstraction and abstraction respectively in the fields of Western and Korean painting. Leading the Namdo Western-style painting scene, Oh Ji-ho and Yim Jik-soon represented Impressionist aesthetics couched in enriched color idioms in tune with the national spirit. Lee Jung-sup’s works display a distinctive stance in Korean art history. The aspects of his works particularly marked by a rapid shift in painting styles and painting on a variety of materials show diversity brought about in the Korean Western painting art scene.
In addition, it also includes works by representative modern and contemporary Korean artists such as Kim Ki-chang who interpreted Korean-style painting’s traditional spirit in his own distinctive pictorial grammar; Kim Hong-shik who blazed a trail in the field of oil painting; Nam Kwan who brought about Korean images in new technique; Baek Young-su who paved the way for Korean abstract painting; Suh Se-ok who is one of the precursors of ink-wash abstract painting; Chun Kyung-ja who sought a new style of Korean-style painting; Choi Young-rim and Hwang You-yup who defected from North Korea and represented their nostalgia.