2019.10.10 Etc

Korea Artist Prize 2019

김혜림 (소통홍보팀) -02-3701-9675

Attached File [MMCA Press Release]Korea Artist Prize 2019.pdf   올해의 작가상 포스터_사진 국립현대미술관 제공.jpg  

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA, Director Youn Bummo) presents the exhibition Korea Artist Prize 2019 (co-hosted with the SBS Foundation) at MMCA Seoul from October 12, 2019 to March 1, 2020.


Marking its eighth edition this year, Korea Artist Prize has been co-organized by MMCA and the SBS Foundation since 2012 as a way of discovering and supporting artists who exemplify the potential and creative capabilities of contemporary Korean art. As one of Korea’s representative honors in the arts, it has served over the years to create new directions and discourses and suggest new visions for contemporary art.


For Korea Artist Prize 2019, a panel of Korean and overseas art experts Ayoung Kim, Hyesoo Park, Jewyo Rhii, and Young In Hong last March as participating artists. All of them are artists who have drawn attention from the Korean and overseas art worlds for work boasting experimental forms and themes—including video, installation, media, performance, and site-specific pieces—rather than work in traditional media such as painting or sculpture. Over 20 new works in all are to be shown for the first time in the exhibition.


Each of the artists takes a different perspective in addressing issues related to individuals and society within Korea, as well as various issues happening around the world. The exhibition will also include various associated programs by participating artists, including performances, discussions, surveys, shows, and online feeds from the exhibition venue. In addition to broadening the content and boundaries of the artwork, this approach will offer visitors the opportunity to experience contemporary art in a three-dimensional way.


In her recent work, Ayoung Kim has shown her interest in and explorations of the migrations, transfers, crossings, supranationality, and locality taking place at a global level. Central among her recent pieces is Porosity Valley: Tricksters’ Plot (2019), a follow-up to her 2017 video work Porosity Valley: Portable Holes. Focusing on Asia as a region and Mongolia in particular, she combines her artist interests with Mongolian folklore, exemplified by its beliefs concerning rocks and the land. As she juxtaposes stories from geology with the migration process and way of life for Yemeni refugees on Jeju Island—which has emerged as a recent issue in South Korea—she addresses the journey of migration in a multi-layered approach. In so doing, the artist raises new questions that cut across the areas of history and the present.


Hyesoo Park’s artwork starts from the question, “Who is your ‘we’?” In the past, her work has consistently focused on visualizing the values regarded as a “collective unconscious” or “universal consciousness” within our society. For her latest work, she has conducted a survey titled “Who Is Your ‘We’?” in order to address our individual perceptions of “us.” After forming a sample group, the artist collaborated with an expert to conduct a survey and study, which she then visualized in the form of texts, videos, structures, diagrams, and installation. A Forum Theater ‘URI’ program also takes place in variable discussion settings within the museum. In these activities, viewers become part of the artwork, taking place more actively in the exhibition and the art. With her Perfect Family, No Middle Ground, and various other works, Park also confronts phenomena and issues that are rapidly arising in South Korean society, including the disintegration of the family, social polarization, and dying alone.


In her artwork, Jewyo Rhii uses variable combinations of everyday materials to attach meaning and value to things that exist in society and its margins. For this exhibition, she presents Love Your Depot, a model for a storage system that the artist actually hopes to create in the future. Through an artwork storage unit, lab (broadcasting station, media lab, and five-story tower), and Team Depot(the Content Institute group), the works of art stored in the exhibition setting are studied in various ways throughout the exhibition, while different content produced on site is transmitted online. What the artist has conceived is a creative concept that defers an artwork’s “obsolescence” and prolongs its life as through a new kind of space that serves as both an artwork storage site and a setting for creation and performance.


Young In Hong applies the concept of “equality” to artwork in a range of media including performance, drawing, embroidery, and sound. Her latest work focuses on a different approach to communication amid circumstances of extreme nationalism and social inequality that are unfolding around the world. Based on her investigations of animals with means of communication that are totally different from those of human beings—birds in particular—she presents a three-part work under the title Sadang B. To Paint the Portrait of a Bird is a large installation with sound that transposes the inside and outside of a large bird cage structure in the exhibition venue, effectively reversing the positions of viewer and bird. The only thing that travels in this dichotomous setting is the calling of birds, which forms a constant linkage between the two spaces. Un-Splitting, a performance stages outside the gallery, adopts a motif drawn from observing animals and gestures derived from women’s low-waged labor.


Following a final review, the Korea Artist Prize 2019 honoree is to be announced on Thursday, November 28. The final awardee will be named Artist of the Year for 2019 and receive additional prize money of KRW 10 million. A contemporary art documentary focusing on the supported artists’ and final honoree’s artistic visions will also be produced and shown on SBS and cable television.


Youn Bummo, director of MMCA, “The Korea Artist Prize, which marks its eighth edition this year, has shared new directions for contemporary Korean art with viewers through original artwork by skilled contemporary artists. MMCA will produce various forms of support so that these Korean artists can continue working actively on the international stage.” To support the continued activities of artists receiving support through past Korea Artist Prize editions, MMCA and the SBS Foundation are also operating a Korea Artist Prize Promotion Fund providing assistance for those artists’ overseas projects. Among the events that have taken place with funding from the Korea Artist Prize Promotion Fund are a Korea Pavilion exhibition at the 2019 Venice Biennale by 2018 Artist of the Year siren eun young jung; a solo exhibition at Tate Liverpool by 2012 artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho; and participation in a Centre Pompidou group exhibition by 2016 artists mixrice.