2014.11.5 MUSEUMS & GALLERIES2014 GWANGJU BIENNALE
Gwangju Biennale Hall, Gwangju
To Sunday: The main exhibition of the Gwangju Biennale’s 10th edition, directed by Jessica Morgan, has the aggressive title “Burning Down the House.”
Some artworks reflect the exhibition’s title quite literally. Those include Argentine artist Eduardo Basualdo’s “The Island,” which is a scaled-down house constructed from the burnt remnants of a building in Buenos Aires.
Works by 105 artists from 39 countries are being exhibited, including Korean artist Lee Bul’s grotesque “soft sculpture” suit, which is reminiscent of a hermaphroditic monster. The artist wore it and walked around the streets as a form of performance art to protest fixed ideas about gender.
Admission is 14,000 won ($13) for adults. Opening hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Gwangju Biennale Hall is a 15-minute drive from Gwangju Station.
(062) 608-4114, www.gwangjubiennale.org
KOREA ARTIST PRIZE 2014
MMCA Gwacheon, Gyeonggi
To Sunday: The exhibition features the four candidates - Koo Donghee, Kim Shin-il, Noh Suntag and Chang Jia - of the Korea Artist Prize, co-sponsored by the MMCA and the SBS Foundation.
Noh was chosen as the prize winner in September. He presents photos of people taking photos amid street demonstrations, questioning photography’s power and its limitation as a tool to reflect and change society.
Admission is 5,000 won. Opening hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays.
Go to Seoul Grand Park Station, line No. 4, exit No. 4 and take the shuttle bus.
(02) 2188-6114, www.mmca.go.kr
SEMA BIENNALE MEDIACITY SEOUL 2014
Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA),
To Nov. 23: The eighth edition of the Mediacity Seoul biennale has the curiously exciting title “Ghosts, Spies and Grandmothers.”
“Ghosts stand for the forgotten history and tradition of Asia, spies symbolize the memories of the Cold War, and the grandmothers are metaphors of ‘women and time,’?” wrote Park Chan-kyong, the curator of the main exhibition.
Under these topics, 42 artists from 17 countries will present video art, photography and installations. These pieces include a film by Irish artist Jesse Jones about the specter of ideology, and Greek-British artist Mikhail Karikis’s video and sound installation about haenyeo, the elderly female sea divers who live on Jeju Island.
Admission is free.
Opening hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays.
Go to Seoul City Hall Station, line No. 2, exit 10 and walk five minutes.
(02) 2124-8988, mediacityseoul.kr
BEYOND AND BETWEEN
Leeum Museum, Yongsan District
To Dec. 21: The nation’s leading private museum has reorganized its collection to celebrate its 10th anniversary. For this show, the Leeum has displayed modern and contemporary art in Museum 1, which was once exclusively reserved for its traditional Korean art collection.
The collection juxtaposes Yee Sook-yung’s plump black-glazed ceramic sculpture with a white porcelain moon jar from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), for example.
Pieces by hot contemporary artists are on display in the Leeum’s Ground Gallery, Black Box and its transit spaces, including Choi Jeong-hwa’s “Alchemy,” Ernesto Neto’s architectural structure “Symbiointestubetime” and Olafur Eliasson’s installation “Gravity Stairs.”
Admission is 10,000 won for adults. Opening hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday.
Go to Hangangjin Station, line No. 6, exit 1, and walk for five minutes.
(02) 2014-6900, www.leeum.org
National Folk Museum, Jongno District
To Feb. 23, 2015: “Jeans” is an exhibition based on anthropological research into jeans, which are regarded not only as a type of clothing but also as a symbol of modern culture.
The show features 390 artifacts related to denimwear, including jeans donated by ordinary citizens and records of the memories associated with them.
The exhibits also include videos of early jeans advertisements in Korea and photography that shows the evolution of jeans in culture. Among the exhibits are fine art pieces inspired by jeans.
The museum said it has dedicated the past two years to conducting research for the exhibition.
Admission is free.
Opening hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The museum is closed on Tuesdays.
The museum is located in Gyeongbok Palace.
(02) 3704-3114, www.nfm.go.kr
Arario Museum in Space,
For an indefinite period: “Really?” is the inaugural exhibition of Arario Museum in Space, which opened on Sept. 1 in the iconic ivy-covered brick building designed by architect Kim Swoo-geun.
Space’s intricately linked small areas and spiral staircases remain in their original state, while artworks are wittily installed in unexpected locations.
About 100 pieces by 43 artists are on display with the general principle of only one artist in each room. One room houses Korean-American video art pioneer Nam June Paik’s works, while British artist Marc Quinn’s famous - or notorious - “Self” portrait made of his own frozen blood is in another room.
Admission is 12,000 won for adults. Children under 10 are not allowed.
Opening hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closing time is extended to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Go to Anguk subway station, line No. 3, exit 3, and walk for three minutes.
(02) 736-5700, www.arariomuseum.org