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  • Feb 06, 2020

MMCA Announces 2020 Korea Artist Prize Nominees

On February 3, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) and the SBS Culture Foundation announced the four finalists for the ninth Korea Artist Prize: sculptor and installation artist Minae Kim, multimedia artist Seulgi Lee, photographer Heesung Chung, and filmmaker Yoonsuk Jung. The winner will be chosen in December based on new projects shown at MMCA Seoul later this year.

Minae Kim, who is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, utilizes the interiors of exhibition spaces in her site-specific sculptural installations, which draw on folk motifs and examine paradoxical situations and sociocultural frameworks. Paris-based Seulgi Lee investigates anthropological theories through sculptures, installations, and textiles incorporating elements of traditional craft such as Korean hand-quilting techniques. She studied at Paris’s École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, and was a resident artist at Rabat’s L’appartement 22 culture center in 2019. Heesung Chung is known for her serene, contemplative photographs of everyday objects, for which she was awarded the 11th Daum Prize in 2012 by the Seongnam-based Parkgeonhi Foundation. Yoonsuk Jung, a graduate of the Korea National University of Arts, explore Korean society and issues of power through his documentaries and short films, which have been screened at the Gwangju Biennale (2012), the Busan International Film Festival (2011 and 2013), and the Vancouver Film Festival (2010).

The 2020 finalists were selected by a jury comprising MMCA director Youn Bummo; professor of fine art at Kaywon University of Arts and Design, Young Chul Lee; curator at the Lithuanian National Gallery in Vilnius, Lolita Jablonskiene; curator at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, Christopher Lew; and professor of art studies at University of the Philippines in Quezon City, Patrick Flores.

The Korea Artist Prize was launched in 2012 to recognize and support emerging and midcareer artists. Each finalist is granted KRW 40 million (USD 33,450) to produce new works for the MMCA exhibition, in addition to KRW 20 million (USD 16,900) if they wish to pursue overseas projects within the next four years. The winner of the 2020 Korea Artist Prize will be conferred an additional KRW 10 million (USD 8,470).

The Korea Artist Prize exhibition is slated to run from October 31 to March 29, 2021.

Lauren Long is ArtAsiaPacific’s news and web editor.

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