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  • Apr 06, 2023

Weekly News Roundup: April 6, 2023

Model of the future Park Seo Bo Museum of Contemporary Art in Jeju, South Korea. Copyright and courtesy Fernando Menis.

Designs Revealed  for Park Seo Bo Museum of Contemporary Art 

A dedicated private museum for the revered Korean painter Park Seo-Bo has been designed by Spanish architect Fernando Menis for the southern Korean island of Jeju. The foundation stone was laid on the site on March 14 in a ceremony, with the 91-year-old artist and architect in attendance. Located on the JW Marriott Jeju Resort and Spa in the city of Seogwipo, the museum reflects the introspective nature of Park’s abstract paintings as well as the volcanic formation of Jeju Island and Tenerife, on the Canary Islands, where the architect is based. The museum’s design embodies Menis’s “zero kilometer” approach to architecture—meaning that materials are obtained from local sources and can be returned to the natural environment after they have served their purpose. With a Korean-influenced garden for contemplating the landscape and sky, the museum will blend into the surrounding landscape, with shafts bringing natural light to underground galleries where Park’s works and collection will be displayed. The Park Seo Bo Museum of Contemporary Art is run by the Gizi Foundation, which manages the artist’s legacy. The museum is expected to open in mid-2024.

Exterior view of the Art Archives, Seoul Museum of Art. Courtesy Seoul Museum of Art.

Seoul Museum of Art Debuts Archive Building

The Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) opened the Art Archives, Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA, AA) on April 4, after a three-year construction project. As the first public institution dedicated to the preservation and research of Korean modern art, it boasts a collection of over 57,000 archival materials. In December 2022, a research forum titled “Art Museum that Archives, Remembering Future” was held to gather perspectives for its future development. The main building of SeMA, AA features exhibitions and operates a library and contains around 20,000 original items. To mark the opening, two special exhibitions are being held. The first, “Cheerful Learning, Delightful Knowledge, Joyful Knowledge,” showcases donations from renowned art critic Choi Min (1944–2018), while the second, “Archive Highlight: Kim Yong-ik, Kim Tchah-Sup, Rim Dong Sik” features notes and sketches by 50 artists that reflect the rapidly changing sociopolitical climate of 1970s Korea. Additionally, the display “SeMA-Project A” features eight installations and other artworks installed at spaces throughout the new building. The opening of SeMA, AA marks a significant step in constructing an expansive art map of SeMA complexes in Seoul, which will eventually include 11 destinations by 2024.

Installation view of NABILAH NORDIN and MERRIC BOYD’s Fantastic Forms (2023) at Bundanon Art Museum, Illaroo. Photo by Zan Wimberley. Courtesy Bundanon.

Australian Labour Government Plugs Deficits in Museum Budgets

The Labour government of Anthony Albanese announced it would address the deficits of nine major collecting museums and cultural institutions, including the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) and the National Portrait Gallery, in its upcoming federal budget. The arts minister Tony Burke and finance minister Katy Gallagher revealed on April 5 that the government will distribute AUD 535 million (USD 538 million) over the next four years to these major institutions to address years of budget shortfalls under the previous coalition government. The NGA has previously stated it needs AUD 265 million over the next decade to pay for urgent repairs on its 40-year-old building. Bundanon, in Shoalhaven, New South Wales, a 30-year-old institution donated to the Australian people by the artist Arthur Boyd and his wife Yvonne, was also among those nine institutions and will be the recipient of AUD 33 million (USD 22 million) from the federal government.

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