October 4, 2015 - National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea - Korea-Australia partnership exhibition New Romance
October 4, 2015

Korea-Australia partnership exhibition New Romance

Performance & installation of Stelarc’s Extended Arm at MMCA, Seoul.

New Romance
September 22, 2015–January 24, 2016

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
30 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu
Seoul 110-200
South Korea

T +82 2 3701 9500


Artists: Rebecca Baumann, Ian Burns, Hayden Fowler, Siyon Jin, Seung Jung, Airan Kang, Sanghyun Lee, Soyo Lee, Wade Marynowsky, Patricia Piccinini, Kibong Rhee, Justin Shoulder, Stelarc, Wonbin Yang
Co-Curators: Houncheol Choi (MMCA Korea), Anna Davis (MCA Australia)
Co-Hosts: MMCA Korea & MCA Australia
Sponsors: Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australian Embassy Seoul, Australia-Korea Foundation
Supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The inspiration for this exhibition was William Gibson’s 1984 novel Neuromancer. A seminal science fiction work on cyberpunk culture, this novel provides a multidimensional depiction of cyberspace through the combination of diverse and lively images. The title of the exhibition, New Romance, arises from a mistranslation of the novel’s title. The use of the word “romance” also alludes to the restoration of romanticism in the fields of machine aesthetics and new media.

New Romance is an exhibition through which Korean and Australian artists examine the significance of non-human entities that have emerged through processes of technological and artistic development, and the nature of the relationships such entities have with human beings. Although Korea and Australia are located in different hemispheres and use different languages, the two countries have much in common in terms of modern history, including colonial rule and liberation, democratization, and intense domestic turmoil. Now, through this exhibition, these seemingly very different worlds engage in dialogue.

Today, humankind faces the problem of having to coexist with new types of beings and man-made life forms. These strange beings are machines that resemble humans or robots that move and even think like human beings. They also come in the form of virtual beings composed of data that exist inside a network, or Frankenstein-like creatures made through the use of bioengineering technology that seem to have leaped out of our imaginations. The emergence of post-human entities can present us with confusion, but also the opportunity to critique and reflect on the ethical and environmental issues that are arising from the joining of science and art in the 21st century.

In ways that are at times humorous and at other times serious, the artists whose works are featured in this exhibition ask questions and present introspections that deal with ethical problems, as well as the anxiety brought about by our relationships with such beings and the closeness with which we coexist with them. As a result, this exhibition narrows the gap between humans and non-human entities. By viewing the strange figures in the exhibition space, visitors will be encouraged to think about how human beings have come to be.

– Houngcheol Choi, MMCA Korea

Press contact:
Ki-seok Lee, Public Relations Team
T +82 2 2188 6232 / jamush5 [​at​] korea.kr


Korea-Australia partnership exhibition New Romance at MMCA Korea
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
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