Curator Yung Ma to head next year’s Seoul Mediacity Biennale

By Shim Woo-hyun
  • Published : Jul 29, 2019 - 17:46
  • Updated : Jul 29, 2019 - 17:48

Pompidou Center curator Ma Yung has been appointed artistic director for next year’s Seoul Mediacity Biennale, Seoul Museum of Art Director Beck Jee-sook announced during a press conference in Seoul on Monday.

This is the first time a foreign curator will head the biennale since its inauguration in 2000. 

Yung Ma, artistic director of the 11th edition of the Seoul Mediacity Biennale in 2020 (SeMA)

“It was the very first thing that I did since I know about the complications that last year’s Seoul Mediacity Biennale had,” Beck said.

Ma will be in Seoul in December to discuss further details, and many things have yet to be decided. Beck said the museum will work with Ma to use diverse cultural venues across Seoul.

“The upcoming biennale will try to come up with the more comprehensive use of cultural venues that span across the city, as well as the museum’s branches.”

Making more extensive use of the museum branches located in other parts of Seoul is also one of the key aspects of Beck’s plans for the museum.

“The goal is to turn it into a contemporary museum, which makes the best use of the network in the megalopolis of Seoul,” Beck said.

Seoul Museum of Art Director Beck Jee-sook speaks during a press conference Monday. (Yonhap)

Beck said the museum will strengthen curatorial ties among the main museum, branch museums, Buk-Seoul Museum of Art, Nam-Seoul Museum of Art, SeMA Nanji Residency, SeMA Storage, Nam June Paik Memorial House and SeMA Bunker.

SeMA has three new venues to be added to the system by 2022: Pyeongchang-dong Multifunctional Art Space, Seo-Seoul Art Museum and SeMA Photographic Art Museum -- all tentative names.

In addition, the SeMA is currently revamping its new mid- to long-term plan. The plan, which will be announced next year, is expected to include details for 2020-30.

Beck also said the museum will seek measures to diversify its sources of funding. At the press conference, Beck gave a brief introduction of support from Atelier Hermes through 2029 that will be used to fund the museum’s new program “Project S.”

Beck, 55, who was appointed director of the museum in March, directed Mediacity Seoul 2016 and Anyang Public Art Project in 2014. From 2011 to 2014, Baek worked as an artistic director of Atelier Hermes in Seoul. She served as the director of Arko Art Center from 2005 to 2008.

By Shim Woo-hyun (