MMCA Cheongju Art Storage Center is Korea’s first storage-type art museum. In particular, the Museum opens its storage to the public—conventionally the most hidden part of the museum where its collections are stored—aspiring to become a museum that promotes ‘openness’ and ‘communication.’
Unlike curated exhibitions, by its nature the open storage does not impose a set theme or an intention and invites audiences to freely experience the artworks and the space. Until now, as the space was designed as a resting place for the artworks, it remained relatively unchanged aside from minor shifts for conservation or exhibition. In this first restructuring of the space since its opening, the artworks will be reclassified and relocated to shed new light on the works as well as the space.
In the open storage on the first floor, collections of MMCA classified as sculpture are stored. Sculpture is an ancient artistic expression where materials are carved or added to create a figure. It is relatively more resistant to physical and chemical changes compared to paintings or photography. Whereas in traditional sculpture, materials such as wood, stone, and clay were mainly used, contemporary sculptures are created in ways beyond the limitation of the medium, incorporating various by-products of the industrial society, such as metal, plastic, and daily life objects. As a result of the restructuring, these artworks will be classified by their time period and material to show the trajectory of transformation in sculpture.
The open storage is not only a space that stores and conserves artworks, but also a space that allows the audiences to observe and experience the artworks and their conservation environment. Consequently, the space requires a guide that provides information about the space and the artworks. Upon this restructuring, MMCA Cheongju collaborated with a youth design group based in Cheongju called V.A.T(Gwon Jinho, Kim Minjae, Kim Hyangmi, Park Seula, Baek Shinyoung, Lim Ungbin) to create various information guides that will help the storage to communicate with the public from a user standpoint. By creating interior and exterior graphic designs for the storage, V.A.T. visualizes the open storage as a space open for anyone. The icon designs surrounding the storage, inspired by notions of ‘openness’ and ‘prohibition,’ offer easier and friendlier access for visitors.