Seoul Arts Center
The Seoul Arts Center was built to display the cultural exuberance of Korean society. It is a representative arts complex intended to increase awareness and solidarity to Korean artwork and culture, as well as deliver it to an international level. It is also known as the “Hall of Arts” containing several distinct halls and exhibit space which display a variety of incomparable works of art. The Seoul Arts Center is the first site in Korea dedicated entirely to cultural events and artists.
The Seoul Arts Center is financially backed by several companies and corporations, contributors, patrons, donors, and members. The companies and corporations that fund the Seoul Arts Center are listed as follows: Daeil Constructions Co., Daegyo Ltd., the Korean Tobacco and Ginseng Company, Ltd., Egun Industries Ltd., Korea Electric Power Corporation, Korea Gas Power Corporation, SK Telecommunications Ltd., GS Caltex Ltd., and Euro Trading Ltd. This grand center is also patronized by individual donors and contributors as well. One such notable patron includes the Samsung chairman, Lee Gun Hee. Key patrons of the Seoul Arts Center would also be those members of the Seoul Arts Center Art Sponsorship Association. Created in 1997, this association was driven by parties passionate about art and culture. “It has become one of the most leading organizations providing sponsorship to Korea’s art and cultural activities. The Seoul Arts Center Sponsorship Association was chartered for the following three objectives: to supply funding and support, to create a wider pool of art and culture lovers, and to broaden the audience for social development through its sponsorship and promotion activities” (1). Membership in the Seoul Arts Center Sponsorship Association is now widespread with famous celebrities and several persons of influence and prestige. Once one becomes a member, he/she is a member for life and therefore is able to continuously reap the benefits of the association. There are six different grades of membership. Starting from the most expensive grade to the least are Rose of Sharon, Peony, Camellia, Magnolia, Pomegranate Blossom, and Rose. Members participating in the most expensive grade receive premium benefits. The cost of the Rose of Sharon membership grade starts at 100,000,000 won, which right now is roughly 86,000 US dollars. The least expensive grade, the Rose membership starts at 3,000,000 won–roughly 2600 US dollars.
It took nine years to build the Seoul Arts Center. The plan for the establishment of this grand venue was proposed in 1982. Construction began in November of 1984, and the center finally opened all of its doors to the public in 1994 after all the additions were built.
The Seoul Arts Center receives about 2 million visitors each year. With seven specialized spaces, including 5 world-class structures built specifically to reflect the different genres of art, it is easy to imagine why