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.
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.
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 Jung’s subject matter is based on the specificity of Korea and East Asia, it embodies universality.
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 artist’s 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
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.
- 6 artist highlights from the 12th Gwangju Biennale – October 2018 – Art Radar takes a look at the 2018 Gwangju Biennale, entitled “Imagined Borders.”
- Strokes of the Elysian Fields: Korean artist Christina Cho’s dreamlike landscapes – in conversation – October 2018 – Manila-based Korean artist Christina Cho speaks to Art Radar about the reimagined landscapes in her most recent solo exhibition
- “2018 Title Match”: Korean artists Hyungkoo Lee and Min Oh at SeMA, Buk-Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul – October 2018 – Art Radar looks at the works of the two artists and their practices, and talks to the curator, Minkyung Yoo, to hear more about the show
- “Black Mat Oriole”: Korean artist Suki Seokyeong Kang on the invisible within society – in conversation – August 2018 – Art Radar profiles and talks to South Korean artist Suki Seokyeong Kang to find out more about her oeuvre
- Lee Kun-Yong: a pioneer of performance art in Korea – artist profile – March 2018 – Art Radar takes a look at the artist’s oeuvre