Bank of Korea's Art Collection To Go on Public Display

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Bank of Korea's Art Collection To Go on Public Display

The nation's largest art collection won't be found at the National Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) but strangely on the walls of the government itself. According to a 1997 survey done by the government's Supply Administration, art in the government's possession surpasses 30,000 pieces, eight times that in the trust of the MOCA.

The Bank of Korea (BOK), famous for its eclectic collection, will put the state bank's 'assests' on public display in celebration its 50th anniversary. Titled "An Aspect of Korean Modern Art - the Bank of Korea Collection," the exhibition is to go up at MOCA's smaller hall in Toksu Palace near Seoul City Hall starting April 20.

Of the 1,800 pieces collected by the BOK over the past 50 years, 72 will be on display. The works of 52 painters will be on exhibit including the paintings of Kim Eun-ho, Noh Soo-hyun, Min Kyung-kap, Park No-su, Park Seung-mu, Byun Kwan-shik, Song Young-bang, Lee Sang-bum, and Chang Woo-sung. Choi Eun-ju, curator of Toksu Palace says the BoK collection has been the subject of "speculation of many art historians for a long time." The BOK's buildings and offices are secured buildings with limited access to the general public.

The most prominent work of note will be "Melody of Spring"(1942) by Kim In-seung done in the Western style, the artist designated the honor of being the representative artist of the 21st Chosun Arts Exhibition. Incorporating objects like slippers and sheets of music scattered on the ground in "Melody" and with people focusing on the music stand, the work is highly regarded as an excellent tour-de-force creating just the right atmosphere.

"The Bank of Korea" by Park Sang-ok(1915-68), who usually painted scenes around Seoul, captured the Bank in its former place in Sogong-dong, something that no longer can be found.

by Ki Sun-min

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