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Sorol Art Museum, A New Public Art Museum in Gangneung, Is Set to Open in February

Sorol Art Museum ©Sorol Art Museum

Sorol Art Museum, a new public art museum in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, is set to open on February 14. Located within Gyodong 7 Park in Gangneung, the name ‘Sorol’ is the old name of the area where the museum is located, meaning ‘a town with many pine trees’.

The museum was built in 2020 after four years of preparation, with two floors and one basement, and a total area of 3,221.76 square meters. It is designed by Meier Partners, which shows the architectural design and philosophy of Richard Meier, a master of modern architecture. Known for his “white buildings,” Meier is a winner of the Pritzker Prize, considered the Nobel Prize of architecture, and is the architect of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta (1983), Frankfurt Museum of Applied Arts (1985), Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (1995), and the Getty Center in Los Angeles (1997).

Sorol Art Museum’s exhibition philosophy is rooted in academic research by communicating with experts from various fields. With particular emphasis on researching abstract art, the exhibitions are carefully planned to introduce works of globally acclaimed artists and examine their values and historical significance. One of their utmost goals is to reinterpret abstract art within art history with the hope of shining a new light on Korean art and expanding it for the global audience.

For the opening exhibition, the museum will host a retrospective of Italian contemporary artist Lucio Fontana. In particular, six neon light installations will be exhibited for the first time in an Asian museum. The exhibition will feature a series of paintings representing Fontana’s spatialism called ‘Tagli’, a series of holes in canvas called ‘Buchi’, and a series of sculptures called ‘Natura’, in which metal is cut or pierced to resemble stone. The exhibition will be accompanied by a selection of 20 paintings and sculptures by Korean artist Quac Insik (1919-1988), whose work can be compared to Fontana’s. Sorol Art Museum stated, “Although there was no direct exchange between Fontana and Quac, through the ‘In Dialog’ project, we hope to experiment with how the works of two contemporary artists from different cultural and historical backgrounds can engage in a tense dialog.”

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