|This computer-generated image shows the completed Seoul branch of National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, which is currently under construction. (NMOCA)|
The Korean National Museum of Contemporary Art will open a new branch in the heart of Seoul later this year that will function as the “hub of contemporary art” in Korea, according to museum officials.
“The opening of the Seoul branch realizes our dream of establishing a space that presents the future of Korean art. Citizens and the art world together have shown great anticipation toward the new museum,” said Chung Hyung-min, director of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea at a press conference on Tuesday.
The Seoul branch, located in the historical and cultural area of Jongno, across from Gyeongbokgung Palace, is being built on the former Defense Security Commander site. When it opens in November, it will have seven exhibition halls in a 3,000 square-meter space, as well as a library, a theater, lecture halls and multi-purpose halls.
From the top of the museum building, one can see Gyeongbokgung Palace and the office of royal household behind it.
“The Seoul branch is expected to draw about 2 million visitors a year, including foreign tourists. The Seoul branch will be a must-see place to see the evolution of Korean art,” said Chung.
In addition to its main museum in Gwacheon just outside Seoul, the NMOCA currently runs a branch in Deoksugung Palace. About 1.3 million people visited the two museums last year.
The opening exhibition in November will be arranged in cooperation with prominent curators from prestigious art galleries such as New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, Tate Modern in London, New Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, and ZKM in Germany.
“The opening exhibition will present the direction and the goal of the museum,” she said. “It will also encompass key characteristics of the place ― the intersection of the past and future, everyday life and art. The curators will exhibit unique art forms under the theme of ‘Connecting and Unfolding.’”
The opening of the museum was delayed by a fire on Aug. 13, in which four people died and several were injured.
With about 10 months left before the opening, the museum opened a promotional hall where the public can view the construction process and learn more about the new museum.
Visitors can be part of the forming of an image of the new museum in a media art piece made by architect and media artist Han Tesoc.
The promotion hall is open through April 30. The opening hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.
By Lee Woo-young (firstname.lastname@example.org