Monday, November 18, 2013

Korea, the new National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

(source here)
In a moment long awaited among art and culture circles, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) http://www.mmca.go.kr/eng/ has successfully completed preparations for the operation of National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (MMCA Seoul), which will open its doors to the public for the first time on Wednesday, November 13, 2013. MMCA Seoul will approach citizens as a familiar and inviting museum by leading public-friendly programs, and aspires to be a “comprehensive museum integrating the past and future in the present,” a “central museum for Korean art in enhancing global diversity,” and an “open museum inducing cultural development.”  



To celebrate the inauguration of MMCA Seoul, MMCA presents five special exhibitions that anticipate the vision and direction of the new museum. Introducing artworks by approximately 120 artists in seven disciplines, the inauguration of MMCA Seoul constitutes Connecting_Unfolding, an exhibition coordinated through international networks that aims to advance into the heart of Korean art and into the hub of the international art scene; The Aleph Project, which symbolizes the future of MMCA Seoul as a platform for communication and a fusion of diverse genres of contemporary art; Zeitgeist Korea, an exhibition interpreting and depicting the potential of Korean contemporary art within a historical context; Site-specific Art Project (Do Ho Suh, U-Ram Choe, and YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES), which presents customized, large-scale site-specific installation works that fully utilize the museum’s spaces; and Birth of a Museum (Suntag Noh, Seung Woo Back, and Yangachi), a diverse and holistic photographic documentation of MMCA Seoul’s construction process. 

Connecting_Unfolding, which is also the overarching theme of MMCA Seoul’s inauguration, embodies an initiative to forge connections and regularly cooperate with renowned international art museums. NMCA Seoul invited chief curators and directors from these institutions to recommend 21 artist candidates; through meetings with these candidates, seven artists were ultimately selected, and their artworks make up the exhibition. Connecting_Unfolding, presenting artworks by seven artists from seven countries, will guide the audience’s experience and reveal new value by introducing the audience to the current diverse state of contemporary art. 

The Aleph Project, assembled and presented through a collaboration by professionals from an array of fields, including curators, architects, astronomers, artists, and directors, is a interdisciplinary project that surmounts the boundaries delineating genres, and its diverse presentations will touch the exhibition halls as well as the media lab, multi-project hall, and film screening theater.

Viewing the changes in Korean society through the lens of MMCA’s representative collection, Zeitgeist Korea will prompt us to reflect on the present via our past, while Site-specific Art Project will take advantage of MMCA Seoul’s spaces to present customized, site-specific large-scale installation works and Birth of a Museum will offer viewers an integrated documentation of the museum’s entire construction process. 

A variety of film and performance programs will take place in conjunction with the inauguration of MMCA Seoul, and an array of customized educational programs will initiate dialogues with the public. MMCA Seoul will sponsor invitational events for multicultural families, low-income groups, and student heads of households, and further offer a wide selection of educational programs, free admission to exhibitions twice per month, and interpretation services for exhibition visitors. 

In addition to eight galleries, MMCA Seoul is equipped with a film screening theater, library, multi-project hall, audience participation education space, and multiple amenities (including an art zone, restaurant, cafeteria, food court, digital book café, and parking lot), reflecting its goal to act as a multi-cultural space that citizens may readily access in their daily lives. 

In addition, various services will be provided for the convenience of the audience. Specifically, for visitors who cannot easily visit MMCA Seoul during daytime opening hours, the museum will be open, free of charge, each Wednesday and Saturday from 6 to 9pm. MMCA Seoul will further implement an online reservation system to facilitate a pleasant viewing environment, and trial operations will conclude by the end of November. During the trial reservation period (November 13 to 30), it will be possible for audiences planning to visit MMCA Seoul to visit the museum at their desired time using the simple online reservation process. Also, free inter-area shuttle buses connecting MMCA Seoul with MMCA Gwacheon and MMCA Deoksugung will operate four times per day for the convenience of museum visitors. 

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