The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA, Director Youn Bummo) is unveiling from 12 February to 5 December MMCA Performing Arts 2021: Multiverse at the MMCA Seoul.
Since 2017, the MMCA has been carrying out MMCA Performing Arts, a multi-disciplinary convergence program that aims to expand limits and boundaries of genres. In its latest attempts, the MMCA showcased performances, shows and exhibitions under the theme of “The Square” (2019) and “A Museum for All, ” (2020) to lower the doorsill and to present a new form of art to its audience.
Held under the theme of “Multiverse,” this year’s program will utilize state-of-the art technologies to look into contemporary art which showcases new senses and means of thinking. The word “multiverse,” derived from the physical hypothesis of “multiple universes,” is a theory that postulates the actual existence of multiple universes besides our own. It has become a term frequently cited in films, SF novels, while it is also used to express the diverse perspectives on universe and the world. Adopting state-of-the-art technologies such as VR, AI, drone, and self-driving to various art works, MMCA Performing Arts 2021: Multiverse aims to induce the audience to take an unconventional perspective and continue to raise questions about the world in which we live.
Unfolded as part of the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s project to build Immersive Contents Zones at Public Cultural Facilities, this year’s project involves a total of six artists – Kwon Hayoun, Kimchi and Chips, Seo Hyun-suk, An Jungju/Jun Sojung, Jeong Geumhyung, and Hoonida Kim. They will bring to the surface the limitations of the sensory system and rationality while expressing art as a platform for experimenting the boundary of what exists in reality and in imagination. Their new productions utilizing various technologies – virtual reality (VR), a latest immersive technology that offers a perceptive experience similar to reality, robots that substitute the kinetic capacity of humans, artificial intelligence (AI) that surpasses a human’s learning and reasoning abilities, and self-driving technology (LiDAR sensor and self-driving algorism) that recognizes the driving condition and thereby plans and controls the drive on its own – will be disclosed to the public consecutively from February to December.
Kwon Hayoun’s XXth Attempt towards the Potential of Magic will kick off the program on 12 February at the Project Gallery, a space that has been newly refurbished for the exhibition. The work, which is a participatory VR performance, will experiment on the possibility of an organic relationship between the virtual and real worlds. Wearing the VR headset, the audience will experience a moment where an artificially created fiction connects with the reality via something that connects the gallery and the virtual world. Perceiving the audience who participates in the VR experience as the connecting point of virtual and real worlds, the artist aims to shed light on the creative moment that emerges from their body and action.
Seo Hyun-suk’s X(Indifferent Spectacle) is scheduled to be disclosed on 16 March. For the performance, Gallery 5 of MMCA Seoul has been scanned in 3D and made into VR in its actual size. The audience equipped with the VR headset will be experiencing the empty exhibition space within the virtual space rather than the real world. Exploring the actual Gallery 5 within the Gallery 5 that has been reproduced in the virtual space, the audience will be able to experience the gap between reality and virtual world as well as the limitations of the sensory system.
An Jungju/Jun Sojung’s The Ghost in the Machine will be showcased in May at the Seoul Box. Self-driving technology will be equipped on a racing drone that drives at the speed of 100-200km to explore the Seoul Box. The video shot by the drone which will fly through the various forms of sculptures installed in the ceiling and floor of the exhibition space, will be displayed real-time. The video to be displayed in parallel with various images will depict a landscape composed of non-linear and multi-layered time.
In June, Kimchi and Chips’s Halo and Untitled will be displayed at the Museum Madang and Project Gallery, respectively. Halo visualizes the sun via a cloud of water mist utilizing natural factors like sunlight, wind and water as well as 99 mirrors developed based on mathematical principle. Untitled metaphorically displays an infinite world by time through the utilization of delicate mechanical equipment and mirrors used for the production of telescopes.
Jeong Geumhyung’s Toy Prototype will be unveiled in August. Video archives of the production process and operation of Jeong’s “toys” that are DIY robots will be showcased, Through this, the artist aims to explore the relationship among robots, objects and humans.
Last but not least in October, Hoonida Kim’s Landscape being Decoded will be unveiled. Kim will explore how machines recognize a given space through self-driving technologies such as LiDAR and computer vision, and take an attempt to connect this to humans’ way of thinking.
Unfolded as part of the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s project to build Immersive Contents Zones at Public Cultural Facilities, MMCA Performing Arts 2021: Multiverse will take place at the MMCA Seoul’s Project Gallery, Seoul Box and Museum Madang.
Director Youn Bummo of MMCA described MMCA Performing Arts 2021: Multiverse as “A program that further expands the scope of art while reflecting the spirit of the present era – convergence,” and added that “visitors will be able to take a hands-on approach on interesting works of art that meet with state-of-the art science technology at the museum, a platform for boosting imagination.”