MOCA shares blueprint for 2010

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MOCA shares blueprint for 2010


At right, Park Ki-won, who has been named the artist of the year by the National Museum of Contemporary Art. His work “Floating” (2009) appears at left. An exhibit of the artist’s work will be held April 7 to May 30 at the museum’s main branch in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi. Provided by the museum

The National Museum of Contemporary Art is aiming to attract 1.5 million art lovers this year with 11 exhibitions in Korea and four overseas featuring the museum’s usual eclectic mix of modern works by some of the best artists working in Asia today.

Museum director Bae Soon-hoon told reporters last week that 1.1 million people visited the exhibitions organized by the museum last year in its main exhibition space in Gwacheon, south of Seoul, its branch in Deoksu Palace in central Seoul and other venues.

“The number of visitors surged 34 percent last year, over 2008, because the exhibits appealed to both art connoisseurs and the general public,” Bae said, adding that it will continue to plan exhibitions that appeal to both.

The director, who served as chief executive officer of Daewoo Electronics and Information Minister in the past, said the museum will strengthen its marketing campaign and provide better service to museumgoers in the coming year. It is working to devise a more flexible schedule for the free shuttle bus that runs from Seoul Grand Park Subway Station to the museum in Gwacheon; the museum also plans to host more exhibitions in the outdoor sculpture park, Bae said.

Of the 15 exhibitions the museum is planning for this year, four will be held overseas. One of these, the “Floating Hours” exhibition, will tour the museums of the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria, beginning in September. It features renowned Korean artists including Paik Nam-june and Kang Ik-joong, who are exploring the intangibility of time, the museum said in a statement.

In Korea, the museum will host an exhibition by installation artist Park Ki-won, who has been designated as the museum’s artist of the year. The exhibition will run April 7 to May 30 in Gwacheon.

The museum is also planning to host two large-scale exhibitions by Asian artists. The exhibition “Asian Realism,” which will feature realist artists of the Modernist era and has been co-organized with Singapore’s state-run art museum, will be held in Korea at the museum’s Deoksu Palace branch from July 28 to Oct. 10. The exhibition “Pop, Pop, Pop,” which displays pop art pieces by contemporary artists, will begin on Nov. 10 and will continue through early March 2011 in Gwacheon.

The Deoksu Palace museum will show approximately 90 pieces from the collection of the Albertina, a museum in Vienna, Austria, from Oct. 25 to late Feb. 2011.

In addition to the art exhibits, the Culture Ministry is proposing to convert the museum into a state-run corporation, which they hope will increase its fund-raising prospects and make its operations more efficient.

“The related bill will be presented at the National Assembly in the first half of the year,” Bae said. If passed, the law could go into effect as early as next year.

Meanwhile, the museum is already working to convert to a gallery the former Defense Security Command headquarters near Gyeongbok Palace in central Seoul. An architect for the project will be designated in May and demolition of the old buildings on the site will begin in September, the museum said.

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By Moon So-young []
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