The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA, Director Youn Bummo) has selected Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho as the artist for the MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2021. The two artists have worked together since 2009, garnering attention at home and abroad with their most representative project – NEWS FROM NOWHERE.
In partnership with Hyundai Motor Company, the MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2021 is a 10-year project initiated in 2014 to fund and support one of Korea’s representative mid-career artists each year to put together a solo exhibition. By providing an opportunity for the artists, who have been building their authentic lines of work, to produce new large-scale works, the project also serves as a chance to bring a new transition and development in their artistry and ultimately revitalize the Korean contemporary art scene. Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho are the eighth artists selected for the project, following Lee Bul (2014), Ahn Kyuchul (2015), Kimsooja (2016), IM Heung-soon (2017), Choi Jeonghwa (2018), Park Chan-kyong (2019) and Haegue Yang (2020).
Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho have been exploring the relationship between the human society and art also throwing the fundamental question of “what does art can do” in the rapidly changing world and crisis that humanity faces including contradictions of capitalism, historic tragedies and climate change. Their representative project which the two have been working on since 2012, NEWS FROM NOWHERE, has been inspired by the eponymous utopian novel authored in the late 19th century by William Morris (1834-1896), who famously led the Arts and Crafts movement in the UK. For the past decade or so, the project has been unfolded globally in various forms – media, installation, archive, multi-disciplinary research and workshop, publication, and etc.
The project premiered at Kassel Documenta 13 in 2012, and has also won the Korea Artist Prize 2012 held during the same year at MMCA. Since then, it has been shown at the Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2013); Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich (2015); and their solo show in Tate Liverpool, UK (2018) selected as one of the most notable exhibitions of the year held across the country.
Through MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2021, Moon and Jeon aim to present a new episode of NEWS FROM NOWHERE : Freedom Village, commissioned by MMCA Hyundai Motor Series. The exhibition will feature a gallery that will interact with the video piece and its environment via computer program as well as archives, a large-scale painting and two-channel video of the only village that lies on the South Korean side of the heavily fortified DMZ - Daeseong-dong, also known as “Freedom Village.” With their new work, Moon and Jeon aim to once again question the life of humans and role of art after disasters.
The exhibition will be held from Friday September 3, 2021 until Sunday February 20, 2022 at MMCA Seoul. Moreover, it will travel overseas from 2022, in line with the initial goal of MMCA Hyundai Motor Series, which is aimed at supporting the global promotion of a prominent Korean artist.
Director Youn Bummo of MMCA described MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2021 as “The first large-scale exhibition of Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho held in a decade at MMCA since the Korea Artists Prize 2012,” and added that “it will serve as an opportunity to newly engrave within the global and domestic art scenes the remarkable line of works developed by the pair during the course of the their collaboration for a long period of time.”
MMCA Hyundai Motor Series (2014-2024)
The MMCA Hyundai Motor Series, in partnership with Hyundai Motor Company, is a ten-year art project that has been organizing annual exhibitions of esteemed Korean artists since 2014.
The project aims to expand the boundaries of Korean contemporary art and provide a platform that connects leading Korean artists with wider audiences globally. Each year, MMCA selects one artist with a unique artistic vision to explore his/her creative process to its full potential and provides promotional support of the exhibition both at home and abroad.
The commissioned artworks that reflect the artist’s vision and aesthetics allow the audience to witness the currents and dynamism of Korean contemporary art.
The MMCA Hyundai Motor Series is noteworthy for being a successful example of partnership between the arts and the corporate sector and its contribution to the advancement of Korean art.