TRUSTpoll: What do you want to see?

9 Sep

Now that Media City Seoul is officially open to the public (through November 17), we want to continue to provide you with the best content related to the exhibition.  To that end, please help us out by participating in our poll, to let us know what kinds of pieces you would like to see on the blog.   Thanks for your input!


REMINDER: Media City Seoul opens today

6 Sep

Media City Seoul 2010, the 6th edition of the Seoul International Media Art Biennale, opens today at the Seoul Museum of Art.

Festivities will kick off at 5:00 pm when the exhibition opens to the public for the first time.  At 5:30, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon and Media City Artistic Director Kim Sunjung will deliver opening speeches to inaugurate the exhibition.  At 6:30, sound artist Tarek Atoui will give a high-energy performance of Un-drum 3: Semantic Scanning Electron Microscope.  The opening will wind down around 8:00 pm.

Media City Seoul 2010 runs from September 7 to November 17, at four venues in the historic downtown area of Seoul: Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA), Simpson Memorial Hall at Ehwa Girl’s High School, SeMA Annex at Gyeonghui Palace, and Seoul Musuem of History.  Admission to all venues is free and open to the public.

Tuesday-Friday: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm

Weekends/Holidays: 10:00 am – 7 pm (September-October); 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (November)

Additionally, there are guidebooks and audio guides in English available free of charge.

GALLERY: Press preview at SeMA

5 Sep

Media City Seoul 2010 kicked off yesterday, September 4 with a press preview at Seoul Museum of Art.  The event was attended by press from near and far, including journalists and industry professionals from the USA, Europe, and Asia.

The day’s events included open gallery viewing, guided tours by curators, and a sound performance by Tarek Atoui.  The reception was overwhelmingly positive, and after such a successful “soft-opening” everyone is very excited for the next two months.

Yangachi wins Hermes Foundation Misulsang

5 Sep

The media artist Yangachi has won the 20 million-won art prize from the Hermes Foundation.  The news broke late on September 2 that the Seoul-based artist, who works mostly in video and media installation, was selected for Korea’s most prestigious art prize ahead of finalists Bae Jong-heon and Park Jina.

The prize was founded in 2000 as a way to promote Korean culture and art through generous sponsorship of important  figures in the Korean contemporary art scene.  Previous winners include Kim Beom, Do-ho Suh, Chan-kyong Park, and last year’s Park Yoon-young.


Still from "Bright Dove Hyunsook," Yangachi's award-winning video installation


Yangachi was awarded the prize for his work Bright Dove Hyunsook, which is currently installed at Media City Seoul.  The 2-channel installation uses CCTV cameras to capture the meanderings of Miss Hyunsook.  The unique aesthetic that results from the aerial perspectives and choppy camera panning combines with a snappy soundtrack to create a immersive and intriguing piece that is hard to walk away from.  The use of taxidermic doves, decorative lightbulbs, and gilded, earthen objet trouvés further contextualizes the work by incorporating parts of the video into the installation itself.

The jury committee, composed of Korean and international professionals, said this about their selection: “Yangachi earned an immensely positive assessment by enduring artistic risks and obligations, and making progress by maintaining a variety of values. This particular work’s aim greatly impacted the judges.’’

The artist, whose name means bully or gangster in Korean, has garnered a lot of attention this year, having been one of six finalists earlier this year for the first-ever Asia Art Award, sponsored by the CJ Cultural Foundation (the award was won by another Media City Seoul artist, Apichatpong Weerasethakul).


Media Art Seminar to be organized by British Council Korea

2 Sep

This Saturday, September 4, British Council Korea will present a seminar entitled “Mixing up Realities–media experiments in public space.”

Presented as a companion to Media City Seoul 2010, the seminar will introduce works by emerging UK artists exhibiting in Korea this fall, both under the auspices of Media City Seoul and the Incheon International Digital Art Festival. As part of the seminar, which will be held at the Seoul Museum of Art’s Seminar Room, Mike Stubbs (Director, FACT Liverpool), Matt Adams (artist, Blast Theory), and Chris O’Shea (artist) will discuss how their works intervene in public space and engage with their audiences through their media-based works.

Saturday, September 4, 2:00 p.m., Seoul Museum of Art, Seminar Room.

To RSVP for the seminar, register here.

Mike Stubbs

Mike Stubbs has been Director of FACT since May 2007, as well as Professor of Art, Media and Curating at the John Moores Liverpool University. In 2002 he won a Banff Fleck Fellowship. Previously he was Founding Director at Hull Time Based Arts (HTBA). During his career, Mike has commissioned over 250 interactive, site specific, performative, sonic and moving-image based artworks.

FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) has been a leading institution in the UK video, film and new media arts scene for 20 years with groundbreaking exhibitions, education and research projects. The organisation aims to pioneer new forms of artistic and social interaction with individuals and communities. During its history, FACT has commissioned and presented over 250 digital media works with artists including Pipilotti Rist, Bill Viola, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Vito Acconci and Isaac Julien.

Matt Adams

Matt Adams is a member of Blast Theory, an internationally renowned artists’ group that uses interactive media to create groundbreaking new forms of performance and interactive art that mixes audiences across the internet, live performance and digital broadcasting. The group’s work explores interactivity and the social and political aspects of technology. It confronts a media saturated world in which popular culture rules, using performance, installation, video, mobile and online technologies to ask questions about the ideologies present in the information that envelops us. Blast Theory has received numerous awards including the Maverick Award (2005 Game Developers Choice Awards, USA), Golden Nica for Interactive Art (2003 Prix Ars Electronica, Austria) plus four BAFTA nominations. The group is based in Brighton, United Kingdom.

For Media City Seoul 2010, Blast Theory presents Ulrike and Eamon Compliant, which premiered at the opening of the Venice Biennale from June 4th – 7th 2009. Ulrike and Eamon Compliant was commissioned by the De La Warr Pavilion and supported by Arts Council England and Mixed Reality Lab (University of Nottingham). It is a site specific work based on the lives of Ulrike Meinhof (Red Army Faction) and Eamon Collins (Irish Republican Army). The work invites the audience to take on the character of either Ulrike or Eamon and take a journey through the city receiving and making phone calls as the character they have chosen. The work combines documentary elements with an interactive narrative. It aims to engage with the audience in a highly personalized way, asking the audience to consider and perhaps question their own beliefs and ethics.

Chris O'Shea

Chris O’Shea is a British artist and designer. He uses technology to make the unimaginable come to life. Inventing new approaches that explore play, human behavior and engagement through interaction design and the visual arts. His works and collaborations have been commissioned by the BBC, FACT (Liverpool), Design Museum (London) and Science Gallery (Dublin) and shown by British Council Japan and Kinetica Art Fair. He is on the executive committee of the charity foundation Action for Children’s Arts, which campaigns for the right of all children in the UK to have access to high quality art as an integral part of their childhood. He is also the author of the Pixelsumo blog and co-founder of event series This Happened.

GALLERY: Mark Bradford finishes installation

2 Sep

Although Mark Bradford’s massive canvas, Kingdom Day, went up on the wall last week, he finished work on it yesterday. It’s quite impressive.

I caught up with him while he was “cleaning” it.  Along with his assistant, he meticulously went over the whole canvas by hand, using rags soaked in a cleaner mixed with a plastic varnish substance.  This serves the purpose of getting all the dust and grime off the surface (don’t forget that he creates collages from found paper from the streets of South Central Los Angeles) while also coating it with a protective covering to preserve it for the future.

Check out the photos below:

GALLERY: Media City Seoul installation part 2

1 Sep

Installation continues at Seoul Museum of Art in anticipation of this weekend’s VIP/Press preview and Monday’s public opening.  It’s interesting to see the progress of various galleries in the museum.

Nearly all the photography installations are up, and lighting adjustments are underway to ensure the best conditions for viewing.  Installation pieces, such as those by Izumi Taro, Xijing Men, and Mark Bradford’s painting are in a constant state of progress.  Izumi’s installation, which documents his life in Seoul over the course of 10 days, is of particular note in this regard.  Sumitomo Fumihiko, a curator for the exhibition, said that the piece will be under constant transformation and revision up until the VIP/Press opening on Saturday.

Video works are mostly waiting for projectors, screens, TV displays, to be installed and set up by the installation staff.  I presume these will be the last pieces to be finished before the opening.

Find photos below of Shilpa Gupta’s Singing Cloud and Untitled, Izumi Taro’s installation piece, Xijing Men’s piece, Yangachi’s video installation, and the structure that will house the first stage of Blast Theory’s interactive piece, Ulrike and Eamon Compliant.