May 4, 2016 - National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea - Public to Private
May 4, 2016

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea

Public to Private
Photography in Korean Art since 1989
May 4–July 24, 2016

Opening: May 3, 4–6pm

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
30 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Sogyeok-dong,
Seoul
03062
Korea
Hours: Monday–Sunday 10am–6pm,
Wednesday and Saturday 10am–9pm

T +82 2 3701 9500

www.mmca.go.kr
Facebook / Twitter / YouTube

Public to Private
Photography in Korean Art since 1989
May 4–July 24, 2016

Opening: May 3, 4–6pm

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
30 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Sogyeok-dong,
Seoul
03062
Korea
Hours: Monday–Sunday 10am–6pm,
Wednesday and Saturday 10am–9pm

T +82 2 3701 9500

www.mmca.go.kr
Facebook / Twitter / YouTube

This exhibition sheds light on how photography has been blazing its new path forward while interacting with a range of various other contemporary visual languages in the past three-decade history of contemporary Korean art.

1957 saw the first photography exhibition in Korea entitled The Family of Man, which was a traveling exhibition organized by MoMA, New York. Focusing on the nature and harmony of "Man" after World Wars I & II, it had a huge bearing on Korean photography. Since the exhibition, the Korean photography scene had been dominated by realism-based documentary and journalism photography. This exhibition directs attention to the development of the medium of photography in the history of Korean art: from realism-based public images in its beginning to the conceptual expression and aesthetic language of individual photographers in the second half of the 1980s and onward.

Especially, the year 1989 is of great importance with respect to globalization. Brought about by the Tiananmen Square protest in China (June), Perestroika in the Soviet Union (August), and the breakdown of the Berlin War in Germany (November), the end of the Cold War transformed the values of international society. Korean society contributed to the rapidity of globalization through the hosting of the 1988 Olympics and the 1989 liberalization of overseas travel, and the views and attitudes of photographers underwent a tremendous change.

In the international contemporary art scene the photographic works of Jeff Wall and the Dusseldorf school rose to prominence, and this change induced Korean photographers’ and artists’ contemporary participation in the formation of a new horizon of photography.


Public to Private reveals how those photographers and contemporary artists have appropriated, used, and reformatted into their own visual languages the medium of photography in the global art scene. At this point when the generation of digital revolution has witnessed changes for the past 30 years and is facing the new possibilities of photography, it commits itself to reading into the context in which a photographer is an artist.

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