I visited the Museum SAN with a group of friends and it was a blast. The Museum is large and there are lots to see and do! There are indoors and outdoors exhibits. There are meditation classes too, love that, right?
The museum is a compelling piece of architecture with a beautiful reflecting pool on both sides of the walkway leading to the entrance.
It is located in Wonju, a couple of hours from Seoul and it is the most intriguing museum I have visited in Korea. If you are an architect enthusiast or a lover of great designs, you should make this one of the most-to-do in Korea. The Museum has about a million visitors and you should make plans to be one.
Brief History about the Museum SAN
The Museum SAN (Space Art Nature) is located in the mountains of Wonju. Designed by Tadao Ando, the museum is composed of a welcome center, water garden, and stone garden. There is a James Turrell exhibition hall.
The Museum was opened in 2013 as Hansol Museum and was renamed Museum SAN in 2014 and has been named one of the 100 must-visit spots in Korea. Its no one wonder it makes round all over social media and blogs. It was first constructed with Ando Tado’s design and finished with James Turell works of light and Space.
What to expect visiting the Museum SAN
From the parking lot, you get to enter the WELCOME CENTER. Here, you will find a desk to buy tickets and doors to go through to the main building. Make sure to keep this ticket as you may lose it as you wander through the flower and water garden.
The flower garden
It is located outdoors, and you may not find flowers there all year round. By late spring, almost approaching summer, the field gets covered with China Pink which according to flower language signifies love.
Continuing down the path, there is a white birch forest, an art sculpture harmonizing the vast natural surroundings of the garden.
The clear surface of water creates a brilliant display reflecting the surroundings, adding to the repose of this place is the pebbles underneath the water. Further down the path, you will easily spot the archway. The outdoor sculpture gathers a lot of attention. Most people want to take their photos beneath it. They don’t even mind taking turns to get it.
The stone Garden
The nine stone mounds in the garden was inspired by ancient Sillia tombs. There are sculptures by renowned artists along the stroll It is a beautiful area. the exhibitions of James Turell’s main work – Sky Space, Ganzfeld and Wedgework can be viewed here.
The Main Building
There are a lot of artworks in the building. The paper and Cheong-jo gallery houses them.
In the paper gallery, you can see video clips showcasing how paper is made. The Museum is also dedicated to collecting and preserving the diverse arts and books made of paper. Visitors to the museum through the exhibitions can rediscover the value and significance of paper.
Inside the gallery, you will also find a print workshop. It is a space where visitors can get hands-on experience in the art of engraving.
The Cheong-jo gallery has a permanent exhibition comprising paintings, prints and drawings. They represent Korean modern art.
Worthy of note is the Papyrus conservatory, triangle court and Nam June Paik Hall.
The Meditation Room
Stepping into the meditation hall you will see a window that is the only one source of light. The room actually resembles the mounds of the Stone Garden, there is a possibility of walking by it and not realizing what it is.
There is also a small cafe and gift shop to complement the museum where you can relax during your visit.
Basic info about Museum San
- Museum Ticket: Adults 18,000 won; students (elementary, middle, high school students) 10,000 won
- [Gallery Ticket] Adults 15,000 won / Students (elementary, middle, high school students) 10,000 won
- Toddlers: Free, not admissible to the meditation room, free for the James Turrell only at 3:00 pm.
- Museum Ticket + James Turell Exhibit: 28,000 won; students: 18,000
- Museum Ticket + James Turell Exhibit + Meditation: 38,000 won; students: 26,000
- Museum Ticket + Mediation: 33,000 won; students: 20,000 A 20% discount is available for a group of over 20 people, however, a reservation must be made 7 days before. (No discount on weekends and public holidays)
- Separate admission to James Turrell is not possible.
How do I get there?
Address: 260 Oakvalley 2-gil, Jijeong-myeon, Wonju-si, Gangwon-do
By Car: If you don’t have a car, this might just be the time to rent one. It would be difficult to go any other way. You can also join a tour group. There are some great tours available that head out to Museum San. You can join one.
For more information, check Museum San’s website at www.museumsan.org