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The Best Art Galleries in Jeju

A traditional Korean lotus flower pattern, seen in Jeju Island
A traditional Korean lotus flower pattern, seen in Jeju Island | © Ian Cochrane / Flickr
Thousands of visitors head to Jeju Island every year, drawn by its natural beauty. It’s also famous for museums and galleries — from cutting-edge contemporary painting to award-winning architecture, here’s our guide to the best places to get your cultural fix on South Korea’s island paradise.

Jeju Museum of Art (제주도립미술관)

Building, Museum
Jeju Museum of Art was set up in 2009 with the aim of creating a flagship cultural centre for the island. With a total floor space of 7,087 square metres, it comprises exhibition halls, performance venues and educational spaces. The focus is on connecting Jeju with the wider world, and a clear sense of the island’s heritage runs throughout the museum’s programme. Both modern and contemporary art — created by international as well as local artists — are on view, and there are a number of community events throughout the year.
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Jeju Museum of Contemporary Art

Art Gallery, Building, Museum
Jeju Museum of Contemporary Art was opened in 2007 and is a small private museum that focuses on modern and contemporary art. Its permanent collection showcases the work of Korean artists Kim Heong Soo and Park Kwang Jin, supplemented by a rotating lineup of special exhibitions. As well as exhibition spaces and an outdoor performance venue, the museum also has a pleasant sculpture park. It is located in the Artist’s Village at Jeoji.
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Bonte Museum

Museum, Art Gallery, Building

Designed by world-renowned architect Tadao Ando, Jeju’s Bonte Museum is worth a visit for the building alone. It is one of Jeju’s lesser-known galleries, and thus has a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere. Exhibitions range from contemporary art (famous Japanese artist Yayoi Kusuma has a permanent exhibition space here) to Korean artisanal pottery and cultural artefacts such as an ornate funeral bier. The museum also has a sister gallery in Seoul.

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Arario Museum

Art Gallery, Building, Museum
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An artwork at Arario Museum, Jeju, South Korea | An artwork at Arario Museum, Jeju, South Korea

This art project takes over four spaces in Jeju City’s Tapdong area, converting them into exhibition spaces. The buildings — an old cinema, a bike shop, and two motels — retain many of their original features to create interesting and innovative galleries. Both permanent and temporary exhibitions are on show.

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Art Space IAa

Art Gallery, Museum, Building

This cultural art complex runs a residency programme for foreign and local artists, as well as art education programmes for local communities of all ages. The two large exhibition spaces normally display work by artists who have participated in a residency. It is located in Jeju City, in the former Jeju University Hospital.

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Jeju Island, South Korea, is known for its wild beauty and natural landscapes © anokarino / Flickr

Jeju Sculpture Park

Park, Art Gallery
Jeju Sculpture Park is set in a primeval forest, highlighting the island’s natural beauty. The sprawling park, which claims to be the largest sculpture park in Asia, has 160 sculptures on show by various Korean artists, which merge with nature to create a surreal and beautiful landscape. Its multi-purpose art centre has indoor facilities and a performance space.
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These recommendations were updated on June 8, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.