The Square: Art and Society 1900-2019 is a special exhibition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA). Jointly held at the museum’s three branches of Deoksugung, Gwacheon, and Seoul, this exhibition explores the role of the public square in contemporary Korea. The two other MMCA exhibitions (to be held at Deoksugung and Gwacheon, respectively) examines the public square in the first half of the twentieth century, culminating in Korea’s liberation in 1945, andin the latter half of the twentieth century, beginning with the Korean War(1950-1953).
The 3rd part of the exhibition interprets the contemporary “square”—where solidarity, division, and utter confusion coexist—as a space for questioning and reflecting upon the meaning and role of community, hence addressing the queries and quandaries that individuals face within pluralized communities by way of contemporaneous artworks. The relationships between oneself and the other, oneself and the community are explored through such various platforms of art as photography, video, installation, performances of interdisciplinary art within and without the museum walls, and a book of short stories compiling the works of seven novelists.