2016.4.25 Museums & Galleries
MMCA Deoksu Palace, Jung District
To May 8: Varlen Pen (1916-10), or Byeon Wol-lyong, was a rare successful painter of Korean descent in Russia. However, in the aftermath of the Cold War, few South Koreans have heard of the artist, who created not only socialist realist paintings that propagate the Communist values of the Soviet Union regime but also many portraits.
In efforts to help Koreans fill in the blanks in their understanding of 20th-century art history, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) launched the first-ever large-scale retrospective of Pen.
About 200 of Pen’s paintings, etchings, lithographs and drawings are on view in the exhibition, which celebrates the artist’s 100th birthday. There are also 70 pieces of reference items, including Pen’s report to the Soviet Union’s Culture Ministry about his trip to North Korea.
Admission is 3,000 won ($2.60) for adults. It includes admission to Deoksu Palace. The palace is closed on Mondays. Go to Seoul City Hall Station, line No. 2, exit 10 and walk for five minutes.
(02) 2022-0600, www.mmca.go.kr
Seoul Museum of Art & Ilwoo Space,
To May 29: The exhibition features 210 photographic works from the collections of two French institutions - the Centre National des Arts Plastiques in Paris and Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain Aquitaine in Bordeaux - as part of cultural events to celebrate the 130th year of Korea-France diplomatic ties.
As the title suggests, the large-scale photography show proposes an alternative to the monumental 1955 exhibition at the MoMA New York, “The Family of Man,” by presenting photos that focus on minorities or humans in out-of-the-ordinary conditions, based on the theory of the French philosopher Roland Barthes (1915-80).
The works on display include those by famous artists such as Walker Evans, Diane Arbus, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Robert Doisneau and Nobuyoshi Araki.
Admission is free. The museum is closed on Mondays. Go to Seoul City Hall Station, line No. 2, exit 10 and walk for five minutes.
(02) 2124-8800, sema.seoul.go.kr
LEE JUNG-SEOB DIED
Seoul Museum, Jongno District
To May 29: The exhibition features paintings and drawings by Lee Jung-seob (1916-56). Lee, who died young and in poverty, is one of the best-loved Korean modern artists for his paintings that combine Korean motifs and European Expressionist styles.
The show includes “Fighting Bulls,” “Bloody Bull” and “Bull.”
“The title of the exhibition shows our intention to remove all prejudices about Lee, whether positive or negative, and to resurrect him, as his 100th birthday falls this year,” museum founder Ahn Byung-gwang told reporters.
Admission is 9,000 won for adults and includes admission to the other shows going on at the museum and to Seokpajeong, the summer residence of King Gojong’s father, behind the museum.
The museum is closed on Mondays. Take bus Nos. 1020, 1711, 7016, 7018, 7022 or 7212 to the Jahamun Tunnel stop.
(02) 395-0100, www.seoulmuseum.org
Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Jung District
To June 30: The exhibition is a retrospective of French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, famous for avant-garde styles including the iconic “cone bra” he created for music star Madonna in 1990.
The show features over 150 haute couture pieces as well as some ready-to-wear clothes he designed since his career began in 1976, including his latest creations inspired by Korean traditional clothes or hanbok.
The exhibition has been touring around the world since 2011. The Seoul exhibition was organized as one of the events to mark the 130th anniversary of Korea-France diplomatic ties as well as the 21st chapter of Hyundai Card’s cultural patronage projects.
Admission is 15,000 won. The venue is near exits 1 and 2 of Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station (line Nos. 2, 4, and 5). www.superseries.kr
WRAP AROUND THE TIME
Nam June Paik Art Center,
To July 3: In memory of Nam June Paik (1932-2006), the Korean-born founder of video art, who passed away 10 years ago, the museum has invited 10 local and foreign curators from outside the museum. They include those whose jobs are not originally art curators such as a scientist, a novelist and a linguist.
Each of those 10 curators, along with the head of the museum, Suh Jin-suk, selected inspirational pieces from among the museum’s collection of Paik’s works. And then they each invited artists to create a new piece inspired by the Paik’s work, or an already created related work. The results comprise the exhibits. The works by Paik are on display on the first floor of the museum, and on the second floor are the works inspired by them.
Admission is 4,000 won. The museum is closed on Mondays. Take bus Nos. 5000 or 5005 from Seoul and get off at the Singal five-way intersection in Yongin.
(031) 201-8500, www.njpartcenter.kr