The Amorepacific Art Museum unveils its collection of ancient art for the first time

Installation view of “APMA, Chapter Two” at the Amorepacific Museum of Art (APMA)

The Amorepacific Art Museum – a museum run by Korean cosmetics giant Amorepacific Group – unveiled its collection of ancient art for the first time since it opened in 2018.

The exhibition “APMA, Chapter Two” features a total of 1,500 works of art ranging from paintings, screens, ceramics, ornaments and clothing to wooden furniture from prehistoric times to modern times. The exhibition aims to highlight the beauty of traditional Korean art through a wide range of exhibits, according to the museum. The majority of the collection belonged to the founder of the conglomerate, Suh Sung-hwan, who died in 2003.

Two state-designated treasures – Water-Moon Avalokitesvara (Treasure # 1426), a Buddhist painting from the Goryeo period (918-1392) and Avatamsaka Sutra (Treasure # 1559), copies of sutra written in ink gilded on indigo paper from the same period – are the highlight of the first gallery dedicated to Korean paintings and screens.

The next two galleries feature ceramic pieces and make up the bulk of the museum’s collection. “Baekja”, or white porcelain, in white clay, gray-green celadon pieces decorated with elegant patterns and terracotta pottery from the prehistoric period are displayed on large tables in the center of the galleries.

Installation view of

Installation view of “APMA, Chapter Two” at the Amorepacific Museum of Art (APMA)

Among the items here are the Buncheong Ware flattened square bottle with embossed designs (Treasure # 1450) and the large porcelain jar (Treasure # 1441) that inspired the Amorepacific headquarters designed by David Chipperfield Architects.

Metal crafts on display include ornamental pendants or “norigae” from the Joseon era (1932-1910) and hairpins or “binyeo” that were once worn by married women.

The museum’s “APMA, Chapter One” exhibition held in February 2019 showcased Amorepacific’s contemporary art collection which includes installation works by renowned artists Lee Bul, Choe U-Ram and American pop artist Robert Indiana.

Launched as a Museum of the Pacific in 1979, the museum was reopened as an Amorepacific Art Museum in 2018 at the group’s new headquarters in Yongsan-gu, central Seoul. Company founder Suh began collecting Korean art in the 1960s when he realized the importance of cultural heritage while on a business trip to Paris.

An online reservation is required to visit the museum and can be made on the museum’s official website at apma.amorepacific.com. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum will limit the number of daily visitors to 350. The exhibit will run until November 8.

By Park Yuna ([email protected])


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