By Seoul MICE Reporters
There are numerous unique venues in the city, but the Seoul MICE reporters chose to visit the Seoul Museum on a beautiful spring day in May. Opened in 2012, the Seoul Museum is the largest private museum in Korea. Under the philosophy of ‘everything is art’, the museum displays trends in Korean and international art, aiming to become a dynamic leader in contemporary culture and art. It is a place with a beautiful harmony of nature and art, and is visited by many throughout the year.
Seoul Museum: a special space for MICE events where the traditional and contemporary exist in harmony
The Seoul Museum is a building with a unique pyramid structure. The 1st floor is 2,500sqm, the 2nd floor is 1,800sqm, the 3rd floor is 1,000sqm, and there is a grass garden on the roof. As an events facility it can accommodate up to 3,300 people with its total events surface area of around 4,300 sqm. The exhibition areas throughout the facility are often used for art, but spaces are also used for receptions and other purposes when there are no exhibitions going on. During these types of MICE events, visitors can view exhibitions in the museum as an ongoing part of the event or add in selective viewing times, such as during networking sessions.
The Seoul Museum often carries out corporate events such as luxury brand promotions, car promotions, and press conferences. About 60% of the events are corporate events and the rest are mostly government events. Gala dinners or receptions are often held with the beautiful natural backdrop of Seokpajeong, which was the villa of Heungseon Daewongun, a key royal and political figure from the Joseon dynasty.
Outdoor events are often standing receptions and dinners so that delegates may best enjoy the natural setting outside. The Museum also offers historical and cultural tours of the facility and exhibition curator services accompanied by cultural commentators. The indoor exhibition hall is mainly used for small-scale seminars.
Major events held so far include the launching of the 49th World Insurance Association Annual Meeting, the launching of Chanel’s 80th anniversary, the Announcement of the 2013 Korean-Japanese Joint Makgeolli Day, the Donation Evening of the 10th Anniversary of the Hope Shop, and the Announcement Event for Improving ‘Method and culture of how we work’ Campaign.
Seoul Museum Team Leader Ahn Jin-Woo Envisions Filling Spaces with New Sensibilities
Q.I heard that venue design is an important factor in being selected as an official unique venue by Seoul. What do you think are the unique design elements of Seoul Museum?
A. Seoul Museum was actually a run-down location that was renovated into beautiful, eco-friendly architecture. Seoul Museum is technically an ‘underground art museum’ as over 80% of it is embedded in the mountainside. It was created as a museum without windows by taking advantage of this design method. Although it may seem small from the outside, the space inside is 6 times larger than what is seems from the outside. The special aspects of our venue have also been recognized with a ‘Green Building Award’.
Q.Currently, there are 56 unique venues officially recognized by Seoul. What is Seoul Museum’s exclusive competitive edge?
A. More than anything, it is a space that can seamlessly mix indoor and outdoor events, as we have our spacious museum inside and the Seokpajeong garden outside. Nowadays, a lot of event planners seek a story-based exhibition or a place where they can experience Korean tradition. Seoul Museum is a most suitable place for these types of experiences.
Founder of Seoul Museum Chairman Ahn Byeong-Kwang wanted to create an art space with a low barrier as he felt that, “An art museum is a space for everyone, not limited to certain types of people.” So Seoul Museum is a space where ordinary people have a beautiful experience in a special place and recharge with a new sensibilities. This is the biggest advantage of Seoul Museum as a unique venue. Seoul Museum prides itself in combining traditional values with modern ones, and they hope to showcase even more aspects as a unique venue in the near future.