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2023 Museum Exhibitions Outside Seoul: Busan MoCA, CMOA, and DMA

The Museum of Contemporary Art Busan (Busan MoCA), the Cheongju Museum of Art (CMOA), and the Daejeon Museum of Art (DMA) will present a variety of contemporary art exhibitions reflecting the uniqueness of each region’s art culture from a broader perspective.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Busan (Busan MoCA), led by Director Kang Seung-wan, appointed as the new director in June 2022, is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year.

Busan MoCA announced that it would improve its programs this year to become an art museum with an international voice while simultaneously strengthening its identity as a regional representative art museum. Located in the Eulsukdo Ecological Park, the museum will showcase exhibitions that will particularly focus on the themes of environment, ecology, and climate change.

Exterior view of the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan. Courtesy of the museum.

The museum intends to investigate local contemporary issues that can be shared internationally, with a particular emphasis on the current situation that faces the post-pandemic, digital transformation, and climate change crises. It will also strive to become a leading contemporary art museum by supporting and sharing related discourses through consistent research.

To achieve this goal, the six upcoming exhibitions at Busan MoCA this year will feature contemporary artists of various nationalities rather than focusing only on Korean artists. This article will introduce exhibitions that mainly feature contemporary art.

Saodat Ismailova, 'Two Horizons,' 2017, Video Installation. Courtesy of the artist and the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan.

Busan MoCA, an art museum that considers video works an important part of its identity, will present Climate of Cinema: Isle & Planet from April 4 to August 6, 2023, as part of its Busan MoCA Cinemedia 2023 program. The inaugural biannual program will examine the medium of film from various perspectives and feature works that address issues of ecology, film, and history. Kim Soyoung, a professor at the Korea National University of Arts, and Kim Gahyun, a curator at Busan MoCA, will organize the exhibition.

The children’s exhibition, The Postmodern Child (Part 2): Do Not Cook Special Meals for a Picky Child, will be held from May 5 to August 27, 2023. Approximately thirty Korean and international artists, including Martin Creed (United Kingdom), Ulala Imai (Japan), Farah Atassi (Belgium), eobchae (South Korea), and mididice (South Korea), will participate in the exhibition, presenting various works such as paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, and sound works. By defining children’s “discipline” as a set of rules and controls, the exhibition will consider the possibilities that can occur when children are liberated from these rules and controls.

Film still image of Hyoyeon Kim's 'Bell of the End' (2023). Courtesy of the artist and the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan.

Utopian Scenario About Nature, a special exhibition curated by Kim Taein, curator at Busan MoCA, will be held from September 2, 2023 to January 7, 2024. The exhibition will include archival photographs, videos, paintings, installations, and interactive performances and will examine the connection between the climate crisis and contemporary capitalism. The exhibition will present a critical discourse on the effective methods of creating artworks and the social role of contemporary art in this era.

John Akomfrah, 'The Airport,' 2016, 3-channel video, color, 7.1. sound, 53 mins. Courtesy of the artist and the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan.

The Busan MoCA Collection Isle will open as a permanent exhibition on September 22, 2023. The exhibition will feature works from all artistic disciplines, including media art, sound and video installations, and works by local artists. Through its collections, the museum intends to strengthen its activities, such as supplementing research projects, collecting and constructing related materials, developing exhibitions and educational programs, and reinforcing its identity.

Exterior view of the Cheongju Museum of Art. Courtesy of the museum.

The Cheongju Museum of Art (CMOA) has set a goal for 2023 to make “Cheongju City Happy with Art” and plans to hold various contemporary art exhibitions to achieve this goal. These exhibitions will be held across the museum’s four locations, including the Cheongju Museum of Art’s main building, the Daecheongho Art Museum, the Ochang Gallery, and the Cheongju Art Studio.

The museum’s first special exhibition for 2023 will be held in the main building on February 28. Building its collection since 2016, the museum will hold a new acquisition and collection exhibition that features the most representative works from its collection. The exhibition will reflect the art trends of the Korean and local art scenes through the works of various artists who specialize in diverse genres and time periods.

Sa Yun-Taek, '파도_물성적 사태(Wave - Physical Properties Situation),' 2022, Oil on canvas, 200 x 350 cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Cheongju Museum of Art.

The museum’s second special exhibition program, Local Project 2023, is a relay exhibition of local artists. Since 2019, the museum has been introducing and highlighting the works of mid-career artists who have been active in the local area through this program. The program, now in its fifth year, will feature the works of Sa Yun-Taek in May, Gwon Osang in July, and Yun Duk Su in December.

The third contemporary art exhibition will introduce established artists of the older generation. Since 2020, the museum has been highlighting the works of established and late artists whose artistic practices and activities are centered in the Cheongju area. This year, the museum will shed light on the art world of Park Young Dae (b. 1942), a representative regional artist who is known for his barley paintings. The exhibition will present his work chronologically, from his early works that used ink and colors to his recent works that changed to more abstract forms.

Soo Sunny Park, 'Photo-Kinetic Grid,' 2018, Brazed chain link fence, acrylic tiles, video cameras, projectors, light room, Dimension variable. Commissioned by North Carolina Museum of Art. Courtesy of the artist.

In conjunction with the 13th Cheongju Craft Biennale, a special exhibition connecting architecture and art will be held. The exhibition invites 10 Korean and international artists to reconsider the relationship between architecture and contemporary art.

As for other contemporary art exhibitions at the main building, the Kim Bok-jin Art Award, which will announce its first winner this March, will open the winner’s exhibition in December. The winner will receive a monetary award of 20 million KRW (South Korean won).

The exhibitions at the Daecheongho Art Museum will be held under the keyword “environmental art.” A collection exhibition is scheduled for March, and a special exhibition in conjunction with the Daecheong Lake Environmental Art Festival in May will present works in various media, including painting, photography, installation, and video, under the theme of “the relationship and connection between humans and water.” In August, the museum will introduce the three teams selected from the “Call for Artists” program. The experimental works of these artists will reflect on Daecheong Lake and contemporary environmental issues. Lastly, a special exhibition touching on the subjects and issues of contemporary art is scheduled to be held in October.

Exhibition view of "Things, Traces Memories" at Daecheongho Art Museum, Cheongju. (October 28, 2022 - January 24, 2023). Courtesy of the Cheongju Museum of Art.

In March, workshops, open studios, and exhibitions of the 16th residency artists will be held at the Cheongju Art Studio. The 17th residency artists will hold an exhibition in May, and their solo exhibitions will be held from August to January in order. In June and July, there will be exhibitions presenting the works of artists who have previously participated in the museum’s residency programs.

At the Ochang Gallery, an exhibition titled Invisible Cities (working title) is scheduled for March, featuring photography works with the theme of cities and architecture. In June, an exhibition under the theme of eco-friendly design will be held, expanding the field of design to the realm of art to provide an opportunity to reconsider climate and environmental issues. In December, an exhibition for children will be held where they can touch and experience the artworks.

Along with various collections and special exhibitions, one of the Daejeon Museum of Art’s special exhibitions this year will restore and reproduce an important exhibition in Korean art history.

Exterior view of the Daejeon Museum of Art. Courtesy of the museum.

From March 3 to April 17, the collection exhibition Going Green (working title) will showcase the works of eleven artists born between the late 1930s and the 1960s. The participating artists have continuously been experimenting with and exploring the canvas. Out of 1,357 art collections, the exhibition has selected twelve paintings and photography works that depict landscapes.

Sculpture, Space Puzzle (working title), a contemporary art exhibition, is scheduled to take place from March 3 to May 7, 2023. The exhibition will shed new light on sculpture and three-dimensional works by mid-career artists from the Daejeon area. The show will explore the spatial aesthetics of sculptural works, their physical properties, and the unique characteristics of Daejeon art.

An exhibition highlighting the museum’s eight media art collections, entitled Pioneers: DMA Media Art Collections (working title), will be held from April 19 through September. Through the works of the three most representative media artists based in Korea—Park Hyunki (1942–2000), Yook Tae-jin (1961–2000), and Kim Haemin (1957)—the exhibition will elaborate on the history and development of new media art in Daejeon and the aesthetics caused by new technological media.

Exhibition view of Ye Seung Lee's installation work in "Daejeon Art and Science Biennale 2022 : Future of Cities" at Daejeon Museum of Art. Photo by Aproject Company.

Next Code 2023, an exhibition program introducing the works of young artists, will be held from June 27 to September 10, 2023. The exhibition program aims to discover young artists under the age of 39 who are continuing their creative activities based in the Daejeon and Chungcheong areas. The program started in 1999 and has supported over 140 young artists for 24 years.

One of the museum’s largest exhibitions is scheduled to be held from September 26, 2023 to January 14, 2024. The museum will open the 30th Anniversary of Daejeon Expo: Future Lies Ahead (working title). In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Expo 93, the exhibition Future Lies Ahead, which was co-organized by Pontus Hultén and Lim Se-taek in 1993, will be reproduced indoors and outdoors at the museum.

From October 24, 2023 to March 31, 2024, the Open Storage Permanent Exhibition II, which will exchange the exhibited collections twice a year, will be held to increase the public understanding of contemporary art.

In addition, in August, the works of the special prize winners of the 20th Lee Donghoon Art Award (Special Award) will be showcased at the museum, and the final winner’s solo exhibition will be presented in October.

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