National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
Gwacheon main branch.
|Location||Gwacheon main -|
313 Gwangmyeong-ro, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Deoksugung branch -
99 Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Seoul branch -
30 Samcheong-ro, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Cheongju (expected opening 2019)
|Revised Romanization||Gungnim Hyeondae Misulgwan|
|McCune–Reischauer||Kungnim Hyŏndae Misulgwan|
The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) is a contemporary art museum with the main museum in Gwacheon and three branches each in Deoksugung, Seoul and Cheongju. The museum was first established in 1969 as the only national art museum in the country accommodating modern and contemporary art of Korea and international art of different time periods.
History and Architectural style
- Gwacheon-guan (main museum)
The National Museum of Contemporary Art (MMCA), also known as Gwacheon Contemporary Art Museum, is located in Gwacheon, South Korea. The museum was initially established in Gyeongbokgung on October 20, 1969, but was moved to Deoksugung in 1973. It was moved to its current location in 1986. Founded to contribute to the development of Korean contemporary art by systematically conserving and exhibiting artworks created since 1910, the museum’s area of 73,360㎡ spreads over three floors, and has an outdoor sculpture park occupying 33,000㎡. The motif of the architecture is that of a traditional Korean fortress and beacon mound, and the building has a unique spiral- formed interior where Dadaigseon, one of the most famous video artworks by Nam June Paik, is located.
- Deoksugung-guan (first branch)
The first branch of the MMCA was established in 1998 in Seokjo-jeon of Deoksugung (Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea), in order to further increase the museum’s accessibility for people living in the northern part of Seoul. The museum has four exhibition halls, rest zones and art shops, and the total area is approximately 3,428㎡.
- Seoul-guan (second branch)
The Seoul branch of the museum opened in November 13, 2013, next to Gyeongbokgung. Built on and next to the former Military Defense Security Command building, the architectural design adopted the madang (yard) concept, which successfully integrated the exterior and interior of the building to the surrounding environment. The madang also serves as a public leisure space as well as a space to hold outdoor artistic events and programs.
- Cheongju-guan (storage)
The third branch of the MMCA is currently under construction in Cheongju-si, Choongcheongbuk-do, South Korea, with its prospective opening in 2016. The purpose of the third branch is not only to conserve artworks, but also to train people in art conservation.
Collections and Exhibitions
The collections of the main museum in Gwacheon includes around 7,000 artworks including works of contemporary Korean artists such as Go Hui-dong, Ku Bon-ung, Park Su-geun, and Kim Whan-ki. The museum has also gathered a substantial internationally recognized collection including artworks by Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, Georg Baselitz, Jörg Immendorff, Marcus Lüpertz, Nam June Paik, Nikki de Saint-Phalle, Jonathan Borofsky, and Michelangelo Pistoletto.
Past exhibitions include the installation of Sinseon Play - Moon Ji Bang as a part of the Young Architects Program at MoMA and MoMA PS1 in 2014. In 2011, the MMCA hosted the exhibition The American Art, which was “the first occasion to exhibit the Collection of Whitney Museum, in Asia,” featuring artists such as Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns. Likewise in 2010, the museum hosted the exhibition Picasso and Modern Art, which was the first exhibition of collections from the Albertina Museum (Vienna, Austria) in an East Asian country. In addition to loan exhibitions, the MMCA has mounted special exhibitions of Korean art, such as Acquisitions in Korean Art 1960-1980, and Masterpieces of Korean Modern Art: Exploration of Modern History in 2008.
The MMCA has various art education programs including professional education programs for curators, employees of museums, art teachers, and college students. The Children’s Museum is located in Gwacheon main museum, where programs for elementary students, disabled students and students from poor neighborhoods are held. There is also a special support program for young artists, called ‘Residency,’ in which the museum provides studios for selected young artists and holds art conversations among artists and art professionals.
- Research and Conservation
The conservation center of the museum was first established in 1980. The center has been working to develop its modern techniques for conservation by holding exchange programs with overseas conservation centers. Currently, the center is divided into four professional departments: oil paintings, Korean traditional artworks, contemporary sculptures, and medium of artworks. Furthermore, the museum opened its ‘art research center’ in 2013, which focuses on the research of East Asian contemporary art.
Shortly after its opening, members of the Korean Fine Arts Association and other artist organizations protested over the selection of art for inclusion, charging the Director, a graduate of Seoul National University, with a bias toward graduates of that school, noting that 32 of the 39 artists represented in the exhibition Zeitgeist Korea are from his alma mater.
- "Visitor Figures 2016" (PDF). The Art Newspaper Review. April 2017. p. 14. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- Kwon, Mee-yoo (November 20, 2013). "A city intrigued". The Korea Times. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
- "MMCA branches, Gwacheon". MMCA.
- "Introduction to MMCA Seoul. Seoul". National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul.
- "National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea -Museum Cheongju". National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
- 국립현대미술관 (in Korean). 두산백과.
- "Collection Overview". National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- "Moon Ji Bang Wins Inaugural MMCA Young Architects Program in South Korea". ArchDaily. 2014-05-30. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
- "The American Art". National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- "Picasso and Modern Art". National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- "Acquisitions in Korean Art 1960-1980". National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- "Masterpieces of Korean Modern Art: Exploration of Modern History". National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- "National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea -Greetings". National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
- "National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea -Art Research Center". National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
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- Inauguration: http://blog.naver.com/imga114?Redirect=Log&logNo=120202629527
- Kwon Mee-yoo (2013) "Traditional, Modern Artists in Conflict over Exhibiting at Deoksu Palace," The Korea Times online https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/culture/2013/11/148_146577.html . 2013-11-20. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- Kwaak, Jeyup S. (2013) "Seoul’s New Modern Art Museum Opens," Wall Street Journal online https://blogs.wsj.com/scene/2013/11/14/seouls-new-temple-to-high-tech-art/. 2013-11-14. Retrieved 2013-12-01