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Monday, February 8, 2010

MOCA @ Defense Security Command, continued

As we saw earlier, the National Museum of Contemporary Art will open a new branch in Sogyeok-dong. And I was pleased to read today* that the DSC would not be obliterated : all five finalists to the architectural contest will respect an old building which proved its relevance for contemporary art (see ASYAAF 2009 last summer or the Shinhotan exhibition last autumn).

It's hard to judge by the pictures published in the JoongAng Daily, but each project seem to have its way of transforming the Defense Security Command complex (ie under one vast but thin slab for Lee Pil-hoon, scattered in colorful bars for Shin Chun-gyu...**), and all are gaining new volumes under the ground. Finalists will improve their submissions until the final decision in May and the result shouldn't be too intimidating, nor as massive as the National Museum in Yongsan. Mercifully, the jury rejected Frank Gehry - style soulless extravaganzzas (this guy basically runs a nice computer program to compensate the lack of vision of his clients), and that leaves room for sustainable creativity.

This project is significant from a cultural as well as an urban point of view : it will redefine the dialog between the Gyeongbokgung and the other side of Samcheongdong-gil, already a major art gallery cluster, but must also benefit the whole area around Anguk Station : Samcheong-dong restaurants to the North, Gahoe-dong alleys to the West, Insadong to the South... Art lovers will spend whole days zapping from early Joseon to late Lee Myung-bak periods by foot or on a bicycle.

Seoul Village 2010

* "
New museum accentuates cultural hot spot" (JoongAng Daily 20100209)
** the other finalists : Jeong Ill-kyo, Kim Dong-hoon, Mihn Hyun-jun.

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