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Sunday, May 19, 2013

MOCA goes MMCA - Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

Today, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea (MOCA) unveiled its new Museum Identity as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA).
If you don't know the old logo, it's in a rather classic, institutional gold, and in capital letters. A litle bit like the chaebol logos from the 80s-90s:
The new and improved MMCA still looks familiar, and not just because you can almost read "MOMA" if you don't pay much attention. But the color version seems definitely lighter and more consistent than the black and white version, where the logo comes straight from the 70s (it would probably give a different impression if the white logo were, for instance, on a more simple black geometric figure):

Anyway... the MOCA had already rebranded its three branches:
  • MMCA Gwacheon: the main building (near Seoul Grand Park) was inaugurated in 1986, but the institution itself was established in 1969 in Gyeongbokgung, and moved a first time to Deoksugung, in 1973.
  • MMCA Deoksugung: the MOCA returned to Seokjojeon, where the focus is on modern art (museum collections, international exhibitions like the recent "Memory of landscape I have never seen", featuring collections from the National Gallery in Prague). Just hectometers away from SeMA Seosomun, via Jeong-dong-gil.
  • MMCA Seoul: the new Sogyeok-dong branch will be inaugurated in November this year, and the MMCA regularly posts pictures of the new structures. Many of the fences have already been removed, so everybody can see the former Defense Security Command and Military Hospital emerge in new clothes and surroundings. I'm glad they dumped the "UUL National Art Museum" brand, which sounded like "melencholy" in Korean. About this saga, see former posts, particularly "ASYAAF 2009" (July 2009), "Shinhotan, Beginning of a new Era - a big MOCA cup for Seoul" (October 2009), "MOCA @ Defense Security Command, continued" (February 2010), "SeMA to block blockbusters" (February 2012).
The future MMCA Seoul
MOCA Seoul in Sogyeok-dong, facing Gyeongbokgung

I can't wait to visit the new museum and its collections this November. Two other exhibitions are planned for the inauguration: "The Birth of a Museum: MMCA, Seoul Archive Project", and a "On-site Production and Installation Project" featuring SEO Do-ho, CHOE U-ram, and Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries.

Speaking of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries and text designs... I wonder if MMCA will dare display in the former Defense Security Command this work called "Cunnilingus in North Korea" (watch the whole video:

THAT would be quite a shift from the 70s for this building!

Seoul Village 2013
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