The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) and the SBS Culture Foundation selected Siren Eun Young Jung as the winner of Korea Artist Prize 2018.

Art Radar looks at the winner of the Korea Artist Prize 2018, Siren Eun Young Jung and her works.

Korea Artist Prize 2018, installation view at MMCA. Image courtesy MMCA.

Korea Artist Prize 2018, installation view at MMCA. Image courtesy MMCA.

The Korea Artist Prize 2018, jointly organised by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and the SBS Cultural Foundation, is designed to support and foster artists who represent the potential and vision of Korean contemporary art. The Korea Artist Prize was founded in 2012 and has been established as a representative art award in South Korea. The Korea Artist Prize promotes the advancement of Korean art and culture by drawing on new trends and discourses in Korean contemporary art.

The winner Siren Eun Young Jung presented 11 works, including six new works, films, archives and installations. Siren Eun Young Jung has been working on projects based on research, investigation and analysis of female performance genres called Yeoseong Gukgeuk”, which were popular in the 1950s but have not been established as either a traditional or a modern opera, and vanished from Korean society after liberation from Japanese colonial rule.

Siren Eun Young Jung, 'Anomalous Fantasy-Japan version' (left), 2016, and the other two versions, single channel video, HD, color, sounds, 01h:26m:00s. Image courtesy the artist and MMCA.

Siren Eun Young Jung, ‘Anomalous Fantasy-Japan version’ (left), 2016, and the other two versions, single channel video, HD, color, sounds, 01h:26m:00s. Image courtesy the artist and MMCA.

The judging panel of The Artist of the Year 2018 selected Siren Eun Young Jung as the winner of this year for her persistent theme, consciousness and intriguing engagements by using original films, performances and archives to effectively complete her new works and the exhibition. Quoted in the press release, Head of the Judging Committee, Suzanne Cotter (Director of Mudam Luxembourg), commented:

Siren Eun Young Jung stands out for her attempt to borrow the form of contemporary art to deal with disappearing traditional arts, and her interpretation of the state of gender identity in the form of staged art.

Judge Barto Meumari, Director of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, added:

While Siren Eun Young Jungs subject matter is based on the specificity of Korea and East Asia, it embodies universality.

Siren Eun Young Jung, 'Deferral Archive', 2018, digital pigment prints, curtain, moving images, graphic sheets, dimensions variable. (Scenography design by dl.tokki.dl). Image courtesy the artist and MMCA.

Siren Eun Young Jung, ‘Deferral Archive’, 2018, digital pigment prints, curtain, moving images, graphic sheets, dimensions variable. (Scenography design by dl.tokki.dl). Image courtesy the artist and MMCA.

Siren Eun Young Jung, 'Deferral Theatre', 2018, single channel video, HD, colour, sound, 35m:12s. Image courtesy the artist and MMCA.

Siren Eun Young Jung, ‘Deferral Theatre’, 2018, single channel video, HD, colour, sound, 35m:12s. Image courtesy the artist and MMCA.

Talking Yeoseong Gukgeuk: Deferral Theatre (2018)

Another new work by Siren Eun Young Jung for The Artist of the Year 2018 is Deferral Theatre. This is a short film similar to a documentary that mixes speeches by actresses, a narration of the artists reading of related books, and images of performances and performer interviews filmed at the Seoul Multi-Project Hall, the Art Sonje Center and the Myungdong Art Theater. This work connects Yeoseong Gukgeuk and the voice of three young artists who engaged in the traditional performing arts, including Minhee Park, who majored in authentic Korean music and studied modern songs, and Eunje Nam, who is fascinated by Yeoseong Gukgeuk and wants to become an instigator. Through these juxtaposed voices of young artists and veteran actresses of Yeoseong Gukgeuk, the artist reveals frustrations and anxieties of women in the traditional performing arts field.

Siren Eun Young Jung is expected to participate in the Korean Pavilion at Venice Biennale in 2019.

Soo Jeong Kang

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Korea Artist Prize is on view from 11 August to 25 November 2018 at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), 30 Samcheong-ro, Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea.

Related Topics: Korean, installation, videoprizes, museum shows, gender, performance,

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Brittney

By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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