2018.12.31 Museums & GalleriesART OF THE KOREAN EMPIRE: THE EMERGENCE OF MODERN ART
MMCA Deoksugung, Jung District
Through Feb. 6: The National Museum of Modern Art’s latest exhibition at its Deoksugung annex sheds light on the art of the Korean Empire, which lasted only 13 years (1897-1910). The art of this period has been largely ignored or dismissed as a dark historical era that led to the country being colonized by the Japanese for the next 35 years. However, the museum believes that this period also laid the foundations for 20th century Korean art that deviated from the previous trends of the day and began to accept foreign influences.
The exhibit displays some 200 works of art from the period, including royal paintings like a portrait of Emperor Gojong (1852-1919) that depicts him in a golden robe which symbolized imperial status. The royal court artworks from this period also show Western realism and Japanese decorativeness as Emperor Gojong emphasized modernization by accepting such outside influences.
The museum is located inside Deoksu Palace. Go to City Hall Station, line No. 1 and 2, exit 1. Admission is 2,000 won ($1.80) for adults.
(02) 2022-0600, www.mmca.go.kr
BRAVE NEW WORLD: 2018 SEOUL PHOTO FESTIVAL
Buk Seoul Museum of Art, Nowon District
Through Feb. 10: The ninth Seoul Photo Festival, entitled “Brave New World,” looks at how human beings have adapted to the changing environment, especially to the development of science and technology.
The festival, inspired by Aldous Huxley’s novel by the same name, takes place in four different venues: the main event is at Buk SeMA, SeMA Storage, Platform Changong61 and movie theatre Artnine, all in northern Seoul.
Nineteen artists from six countries contributed to the main event. They shed light on various issues in contemporary society, many of which have resulted from environmental changes that took place in the last century.
The list includes such renowned names as Hatakeyama Naoya, Noh Suntag, Alejandro Cartagena and Cecile Evans.
Their subjects range from economic inequality, oppression or state ideologies, to pollution and climate change, following the problems raised in Huxley’s “Brave New World.”
Admission is free. Get off at Junggye Station, lie No. 7, exit 3 and walk five minutes.
(02) 2124-5269, sema.seoul.go.kr
CIVILIZATION : THE WAY WE LIVE NOW
MMCA Gwacheon, Gyeonggi
Through Feb. 17: Curated by William Ewing - a renowned photography writer and curator - and Holly Roussell - an art historian and curator specializing in Asian photography and art - this photography exhibition features over 300 works by 135 artists from 43 countries and looks at civilization in the 21st century which stands at the crossroads of evolution to either a new level or self-extinction.
The show seems to challenge the iconic 1955 photography exhibition “Family of Man,” curated by Edward Steichen, in its scale, elaborate installation and ambitious attempt to help answer the question of where humanity stands.
The 135 participants include such world-renowned artists as Candida Hofer, Thomas Struth, Olivo Barbieri, Richard Misrach, Simon Norfolk and Wang Qingsong, as well as Burtynsky. They also include famous Korean artists Han Sungpil, Noh Suntag and Yeondoo Jung.
The exhibition is divided into eight sections; “Hive,” “Flow,” “Alone Together,” “Persuasion,” “Control,” “Ruptures,” “Escape” and “Next.” The photos in each section could easily be a part of other sections due to their multifaceted aspects and layered meanings. Accordingly, the sections are smoothly connected to one another.
Admission is 2,000 won. The museum is closed on Mondays. Get off at Seoul Grand Park Station, line No. 4, and take the shuttle bus from exit 4.
(02) 2188-6114, www.mmca.go.kr
LOVING VINCENT EXHIBITION
M Contemporary, Gangnam District
Through March 3: The exhibition features more than 120 paintings that were created for the ravishing Oscar-nominated art film “Loving Vincent,” released last December. Animated entirely using oil paintings that pay homage to the greatly loved yet tortured Vincent van Gogh and his colorful, whimsical painting style, the Van Gogh biopic explores the controversial life and death of the painter.
The post-Impressionist paintings on display are the works of 125 artists from 20 countries. A few of their paintings are based on Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” and “Wheatfield with Crows.”
The exhibition also features Van Gogh’s early works “Floral Still Life” and “Two Harvesters.”
Admission is 15,000 won for adults and 11,000 won for students. Get off at Sinnonhyeon Station, line No.9, exit 5.
(02) 3451-8199, www.m-contemporary.com
More in Arts & Design
Shining a light
Everyone can sit in the coveted front row at S/S Seoul Fashion Week
An insight into K-pop's obsession with Jean-Michel Basquiat
Ambiguity is inevitable according to renowned contemporary artist Haegue Yang
Art collective teamLab combines humans and nature