MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2021: MOON Kyungwon & JEON Joonho


About the Exhibition

MOON Kyungwon and JEON Joonho’s presentation for the 2021 MMCA Hyundai Motor Series exhibition, NEWS FROM NOWHERE, FREEDOM VILLAGE, explored the relationship between humans and art and the fundamental question: “What role can art play?” On view was an archive, a large-scale painting, and a two-channel video of Daeseong-dong, the only village that lies on the South Korean side of the DMZ, also known as “Freedom Village.” The video, played on two screens installed facing each other, tells the story of two characters who have been isolated from the rest of the world for a long period of time. The story of these characters who question their existence and consider ways to improve it reveals a connection between them that goes beyond spatiotemporal boundaries. NEWS FROM NOWHERE, FREEDOM VILLAGE is inspired by the eponymous utopian novel by William Morris (1834–96), leader of the Arts and Crafts movement in the UK. MOON and JEON began working on this project in 2012 as a platform to investigate the current state of the world and ways it could be imagined in the future. As part of the exhibition, they developed the Mobile Agora platform for conversations with experts in different fields from around the world about contemporary crises, future alternatives, and the role of art after disasters.

About the Artists

Kyungwon (b. 1969, Seoul, South Korea) and Joonho (b. 1969, Busan, South Korea) have worked together since 2009. Their first major collaboration, El Fin del Mundo (The End of the World), which examined the meaning of art in an imagined future in which all social values have vanished, was first presented in 2012 at documenta (13) in Kassel, and has since been shown at the Korea Artist Prize exhibition at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (2012); the Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2013); Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich (2015); and Tate Liverpool (2018). The two artists have collaborated on other projects, including The Ways of Folding Space & Flying for the Venice Biennale (2015), and have presented other work at the Gwangju Biennale (2021); 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2021); National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung (2018); and HOME, Manchester (2017).

About the Program

MMCA Hyundai Motor Series

The MMCA Hyundai Motor Series is a pivotal part of the decade-long partnership between MMCA and Hyundai Motor, which aims to expand the field of Korean contemporary art and its role in the broader global dialogue. Each year, MMCA Seoul presents a major solo exhibition featuring new works by a Korean artist or collective. Accompanied by seminars and publications, this platform offers audiences an immersive encounter with the prevailing currents and vibrancy of Korean art today. The series began in 2014 with a groundbreaking exhibition by Lee Bul, followed by Ahn Kyuchul, Kimsooja, IM Heung-soon, CHOIJEONGHWA, Park Chan-kyong, Haegue Yang, MOON Kyungwon & JEON Joonho, and Choe U-Ram, and culminates in 2023-4 with Jung Yeondoo.

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