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MMCA initiates new art project with Hyundai Motor

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Korea announced Friday it has started “Project #” to promote new artists. 

A poster of the MMCA's
A poster of the MMCA's "Project #" (MMCA)

Starting this year, it will annually select two art teams and provide them with financial support for exhibitions until 2023.

Each team will be given 30 million won ($24,790) by Hyundai Motor for exhibitions, while the MMCA will provide studios at its residency in Chang-dong for six months and exhibition space at the museum’s main branch in Seoul.

For this year, 203 teams applied for the project between July 2 and 22. Five teams passed the first round of review, and SQC and Gangnambug were finally selected.

“Many teams applied this year, including the two winners, and presented interesting and boundary-breaking ideas that are potentially capable of expanding art’s domain,” said Kang Seung-wan, the MMCA’s chief curator and a jury member for the project. “The MMCA will try its best to support artists of the next generation.”

SQC -- a team made up of Kwon Wook (Kw.mins.H), Jung Jae-hoon, Kim Jung-min, Kim Eu-gene, Jung Seung-woo -- will focus on gentrification in Jongno 3-ga and people who have been marginalized in the process, such as gay men who used to frequent the region, homeless people and female sex workers.

Gangnambug, consisting of Park Jae-young, Lee Kyung-taek and Lee Jung-woo, will create works based on Gangnam-gu, a region known for its heavily concentrated wealth, high standards of living, affluent residents and luxury apartment complexes.

The team will compare the area with a “bug” -- or symptom -- and explore and problematize different aspects of the district in the south of Seoul, in an effort to open up discussions.

The exhibitions of the two art teams are expected to be held in April 2020.

By Shim Woo-hyun (