The popularity of the ‘Lee Kun-hee Collection’ exhibition, donated to the state by the bereaved family of the late Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee, is still hot even after a month has passed since the opening. Reservations close as soon as they start due to the sold-out procession every day, so there are a lot of articles online that share the secrets of reservations for exhibitions or how to visit them.
According to the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art on the 23rd, all reservations for the ‘Lee Kun-hee Collection’ exhibition were sold out until September 5. The museum limits the number of visitors to 30 per hour to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It operates 8 times a day on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays, and 11 times on Wednesdays and Saturdays, except for Mondays, which are holidays. An art museum official said, “In the past month, about 7,000 people have visited the exhibition, and interest in the exhibition is so high that there are no no-shows.”
Reservations for exhibitions at the National Museum of Korea are similarly difficult. The museum, which takes reservations for exhibitions every month, has sold out all reservations by September 12. In particular, the museum exhibition is until September 26, so the disappointment of visitors is even greater. A museum official said, “As the preparation period was not long this time, only representative cultural assets were presented briefly, focusing on national treasures and treasures, but the response was more than expected.”
Due to this situation, there is also an unusual phenomenon in which exhibition catalogs are sold like wings. To commemorate this exhibition, the museum has produced a catalog of ‘Lee Kun-hee Collection Special Exhibition’ and is selling it for 8,000 won. About 1500 copies of the catalog were sold in one month. This is 7.5 times higher than the average monthly sales of 200 books in the first half of this year. In the case of the most popular exhibitions in the last 1-2 years, about 1,000 copies of catalogs were sold in two months. The museum plans to enter the second printing of the catalog for the special exhibition ‘Keonhee Lee Collection’ in early September. The museum did not produce a separate catalog for this exhibition.
In the case of art museums, some people are looking for membership after hearing that membership members can view exhibitions without prior reservation. The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) operates a membership system that provides benefits such as free admission to exhibitions, parking discounts, and membership lounge access by paying annual fees of 30,000 won, 50,000 won, and 100,000 won. Membership members can view this exhibition without a reservation. However, the museum has not been accepting new members for nearly a year as the membership lounge has been closed due to the deepening of Corona 19.
As the competition for reservations has become so fierce, there are some people who sell ‘tickets’ on second-hand trading sites, even though the exhibition is free. On second-hand trading sites such as second-hand Nara and Carrot Market, you can see that tickets are posted in the range of 30,000 to 50,000 won per person. In fact, there are many posts that the transaction has been completed. Art galleries and museums plan to cancel reservations and penalize the use of free admission tickets when they are sold in cash. This is also stated on these websites. In addition, it has requested cooperation from second-hand trading sites, etc. to stop such transactions.
This exhibition at the National Museum of Korea runs until September 26. The museum said, “Next year, we are preparing to showcase various cultural assets that have not been released until now on a larger scale.” The exhibition at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art will run until March 13, next year. When the quarantine phase is eased, the number of visitors per hour will gradually increase.