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Exhibition opens to deepen ‘Olympic experience’

Dec. 5, 2023 - 15:37 By Choi Si-young
An old map of Kumgangsan on display at an exhibition organized by the Chuncheon National Museum in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province. (Chuncheon National Museum)

An exhibition featuring calligraphy, paintings and folding screens opened Tuesday at the Chuncheon National Museum in Gangwon Province, near the site of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, ahead of the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics.

The exhibition showcases artifacts that offer a glimpse into what it would be like to traverse Kumgangsan, a mountain that has been featured in numerous works of Korean art.

In addition to works depicting the mountain, which sits in North Korea and borders Gangwon Province to the south, the exhibition will display pieces detailing scenic places along Daegwallyeong, a high mountain pass in the province. Scenic destinations are often associated with the pursuit of nirvana in South Korea, where natural beauty is believed to lead to self-retrospection and awakening.

The works of art on display include collections donated by the late Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, a prolific collector of Korean and contemporary art. Nine of the 67 artifacts on view are from Lee’s collection.

“Donations speak to a greater cause,” the museum said, referring to Lee -- a former member of the International Olympic Committee who served the body from 1996 to 2007 before resigning in 2017. Lee died in 2020.

“The fact that he helped preserve our cultural heritage is invaluable,” the museum noted.

The exhibition, the museum added, combines art and video in an immersive experience. Visitors will be able to take virtual reality tours of the province’s natural landscape.

The exhibition will run throughout the Winter Youth Olympics, which will run from Jan. 19 to Feb. 1.