October 16, 2009 - Museo Tamayo - Unconquered
October 16, 2009


Critical Visions from South Korea

Starts October 15, 2009

Reforma y Gandhi s/n
Bosque de Chapultepec
Mexico City, 11580
(+52) 5286 6519


Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo presents Unconquered. Critical Visions from South Korea, an exhibition exploring criticality as a creative tool in contemporary aesthetic strategies. The exhibition includes artwork by five artists from Seoul –Park Chang-Kyong, Lim Minouk, Beom Kim, Young Whan Bae and Sangdon Kim. Unconquered is organized by Museo Tamayo in Mexico City and Insa Art Space in Seoul.

In the 1980s, a number of social movements and a more profound sense of a collective political consciousness from the masses contributed to a process of democratization in South Korea. This process peeked in 1992 with the end of a 30-year military dictatorship. That decade, South Korea flourished. Exportation of information technologies, and heavy industries, among other goods, began to play a fundamental role, and established South Korea as an advanced economy in the world.

The artists in Unconquered mostly emerged in the 1990s. While they were partially influenced by the 1980s generation directly associated to Minjung Art–a politically oriented arts movement in South Korea characterized for its imagery of the common people, its critique of authoritarianism and imperialism, and its struggle for democratization–this younger group of artists also looked at politically sensitive artistic movements abroad, particularly at new developments in public art. Respectful yet doubtful of the current impact of populist themes and formal strategies in art, the artists in Unconquered created a new, more personal, visual language to make their work. Through a language of reflection rather than reaction, they challenge the political instrumentalization of art.

Unconquered is guest-curated by Heejin Kim, who as the artists is also based in Seoul. She has selected artworks that mostly address on every day events, and that speak from an individual standpoint about the self as a political subject. This self-reflexivity subtlety provokes a new sensibility towards the everyday and a critical vision of one’s surroundings.


Parallel to the exhibition, Museo Tamayo developed Critical Visions from Mexico, a program series to generate thought and discussion addressed by the works in the exhibition. Events in this series are at times organized around shared themes or trends in Mexican and Korean culture. At other times, these public programs focus on largely unaccounted Korean influences in this city, for example, through that country’s music and film.

• October 15
Unidentified Valuable Object
A round-table discussion on the value of the original and the copy, from artworks to cultural artifacts, with artist Carlos Amorales, MoMA curator, Doryun Chong, and Alfonso Hernández, the chronicler of Tepito –a flea market known for its illegal merchandise.

• October 16
40 Years Later: Tlatelolco
A performance and exhibition walk-through followed by a discussion between the artist collective Tercerunquinto, Unconquered participating artist, Park Chan-Kyong, and the director and curator of education and public programs of New Museum, New York, Eungie Joo.

• October 24
Drawing the Map
Asia specialist Alfredo Romero Castilla draws a conceptual map in the exhibition walls, tracing some shared historical events between Mexico and Korea, apropos the Olympic games: Mexico 68 and Seoul 88.

• October 25
Based on a true story
Screening of The President’s Last Bang, a film by Im Sang Soo, introduced by Manuel Alcalá of CINEabierto.

• November 29
Based on a true story
Screening of Memories of Murder, a film by Bong Joon-ho, introduced by Manuel Alcalá of CINEabierto.

• December 10
Specialist on Korean popular culture Nayelli López talks about the history of norae-bang, which literally means “song (norae) room (bang)” in South Korea, and more popularly known as “karaoke”. This event will take place at the London Karaoke (Londres 167, 3rd floor, Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City) and includes singing.

For a detailed calendar of events, please visit www.museotamayo.org

Institutional Collaboration

The planning of Unconquered developed from a dialogue initiated through Museum as Hub, a program of the New Museum in New York, in which both Museo Tamayo and Insa Art Space have participated for over three years.

Insa Art Space was founded in the year 2000 as an exhibition space for emerging artists, serving as a platform for research and development for visual projects, archive and workshop programs. Since 2009 it incorporated Arko Art Center, institution linked to the Arts Council Korea. Arko was established as a non-profit public space, compromised with the promotion and the support of contemporary Korean art; it encourages diverse artistic activities that involve the active participation of the public.

Founded in 1981 at the initiative of Rufino Tamayo, the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City organizes groundbreaking exhibitions of international contemporary art and showcases its collection, which was put together by its founders and which includes works from the second half of the twentieth century. Since 1986, Museo Tamayo forms part of a national network of museums run by Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes of CONACULTA and receives additional support from Fundación Olga y Rufino Tamayo, A.C.


Unconquered is made possible with the support of Arts Council Korea, CONACULTA, and Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes. Additional support is generously provided by PKM Gallery, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Fundación Olga y Rufino Tamayo, Fundación/Colección Jumex, Deutsche Bank, Samsung, Canal 22, Holiday Inn, Vértice, El País and ISA Corporativo, as well as the valuable support from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Mexico.

For further information, please contact:
comunicacion@museotamayo.org or call (+52) 5286 6519 ext. 2228

Museo Tamayo
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