The Whanki Museum (Hanja: 煥基美術館) is a private art museum located in Jongno-gu, in central Seoul, South Korea. It was established by the Whanki Foundation mainly to exhibit and commemorate the art world of Kim Whanki, a representative abstract painter in Korean art history. The museum was first planned in 1988 in Buam-dong, located close to Seongbuk-dong, Seongbuk-gu, which Kim Whanki had many attachments to. The atmosphere and environment of the two places have much in common. The current museum building was designed by architect Woo Kyu-seung. It opened in November 1992 after the construction started in 1990.
Kim Whanki or Kim Hwan-ki (Hangul/Hanja: 김환기/金煥基; Born: February 27th 1913 – Died: July 25th 1974) was a pioneering abstract artist of South Korea. He was born in Eupdong-ri, Anjwa-myeon, Sinan County, Southern Jeolla Province, South Korea and passed away in New York, USA.
Kim belongs to the first generation of Korean Abstract artists, mixing oriental concepts and ideals with abstractionism. With refined and moderated formative expression based on Korean Lyricism, he created his characteristic art world and was respected domestically and abroad—cities including Tokyo, Paris and New York City. His artworks largely dealt with diverse patterns of hues and patterns. Kim's early works were semi-abstract paintings which allowed beholders to see certain forms, but his later works were more deeply absorbed abstract paintings, filled with lines and spaces.