|A scene from “Full Moon”by Pina Bausch (LG Arts Center)|
With the New Year upon us, it’s time to schedule in various cultural activities for our weekends and evenings. Here are some of the notable events to be held in 2014. ---Ed.
1. Beyond Impressionism:
|“Woman with an Umbrella Turned to the Right” (Musee d’Orsay)|
the Birth of Modern Art: The National Museum of Korea will feature more than 70 drawings and sculptures on loan from the Musee d’Orsay from May 3 through Aug. 31. The exhibition is expected to present some of the world’s most revered works of late impressionism and postimpressionism, illustrating the aesthetic and cultural transformations that swept through Paris in the late 19th century.
Among the displayed items will be “Woman with an Umbrella Turned to the Right” by Claude Monet, painted in 1886. The work depicts a lady in a white summer dress under a green parasol. Monet is known to have lost interest in figurative painting after his wife’s death but is said to have painted companion Alice Hoschede’s daughters in fields of wildflowers. This appears to be one of these paintings.
The Musee d’Orsay in Paris is known for housing the largest collection of impressionist and postimpressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Seurat, Gauguin and Van Gogh.
2. Evgeny Kissin Recital:
|Evgeny Kissin (Credia)|
The piano master Evgeny Kissin will perform at the Seoul Arts Center on March 30, presenting pieces by Schubert, Scriabin and Britten. But this might not be the end of the program, for the notoriously private pianist finished his 2006 and 2008 concerts around midnight, presenting dozens of encore performances.
The pianist, whose nickname is Genya, started to play the piano at age 2, just by listening to his sister play the instrument. He started studying professionally at 6, entering the Gnessin State Musical College for Gifted Children; made a debut featuring Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor with the Ulyanovsk Symphony Orchestra; and became an international sensation at 12 when he played and recorded Chopin piano concertos with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.
He is still known as the pianist of pianists, and tickets to his concerts are always hard to get.
3. The 2014 Gwangju Biennale:
|The plaza in front of the main venue of the 2012 Gwangju Biennale, where pingpong tables were installed by Argentinean artist Rirkrit Tiravanija (Gwangju Biennale)|
The 2014 Gwangju Biennale celebrates its 20th anniversary with its 10th installment next year, which will present a special exhibition project shedding light on the democratic uprising that took place in Gwangju 33 years ago.
The Gwangju spirit will be revived again at the 10th Gwangju Biennale, running from Sept. 5 to Nov. 9, through exhibitions, performances and lectures. Founded in 1995 in memory of the 1980 civil uprising for democratization in Gwangju, the biennale has striven to serve as an experimental platform for art and to become a leading international biennale.
“The special project will focus on communicating with citizens and civil society from the beginning of the project in order to pay tribute to the grassroots democratic movement. The whole city will turn into a vibrant cultural scene driven by citizens,” said Lee Yong woo, president of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation. 4. Expat artists in Korea:
The Seoul Museum of Art will focus on specific groups of artists in its special exhibitions in 2014. It will spotlight foreign artists living in Korea for long-term periods, shedding light on their cultural and social identities and their assimilation into Korean society in the exhibition planned to run from June 16 to Aug. 10.
The museum will also examine female Korean artists based in foreign countries in the SeMA Gold exhibition running from March 11 to May 18, which will explore their identities as reflected through their artwork. Held in the summer, the SeMA Blue exhibition sheds light on innovative contemporary art practices of young Korean artists.5. “Full Moon” by Pina Bausch:
It’s been almost five years since Germany’s legendary choreographer Pina Bausch died, but her works are still as popular as ever. Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal is returning to Seoul this year with her 2006 work “Vollmond (Full Moon).”
The troupe last performed in Korea in 2010. “‘Full Moon’ is conceived of as a work of full of delightful moments and ecstasies, like her other pieces,” said a statement from the LG Arts Center, the local organizer of the upcoming performance. “But at the same time, it is instilled with danger and anxiety.”
The dance is well-known for its use of a giant rock and deep water that take up a large part of the stage, while its themes include the celebration of life as well as its danger and joys. “Full Moon” runs from March 28 to 31 at the LG Arts Center in Yeoksam-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information, visit www.lgart.com.
6. Thank You!: The 30th Anniversary Special Gala:
|A scene from “Giselle,” which will be included in the upcoming gala program of UBC (Universal Ballet Company)|
This year marks Korea’s Universal Ballet Company’s 30th anniversary. Celebrating the milestone, the troupe is presenting a special gala in February. Titled “Thank You!” the program consists of scenes from some of the staple repertoires of the company, including “Giselle,” “La Bayadere,” “Onegin,” “The Sleeping Beauty” and “Don Quixote.” Along with the company’s principal dancers, including Hwang Hye-min and Uhm Jae-yong, the gala will offer a rare opportunity for local ballet fans to see some of the most prominent Korean-born dancers who currently perform overseas. Seo Hee, one of the principals of the American Ballet Theatre in New York, and Kang Hyo-jung, a principal at Germany’s Stuttgart Ballet, will join the Universal Ballet for the gala. “Thank You!: The 30th Anniversary Special Gala” runs from Feb. 21 to 23 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. For more information, visit www.universalballet.com.
7. The Avril Lavigne Tour in Seoul:
|Avril Lavigne (Avril Lavigne official website)|
The internationally known Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne will be putting on a Seoul concert in February as part of the rocker’s world tour.
Lavigne first entered the music scene in 2002 with her debut album “Let Go,” which included the smash hit singles “Complicated” and “Sk8er Boy.” The album went multiplatinum in a number of countries, including the U.S. and the U.K. Lavigne has since sold more than 30 million albums and more than 50 million singles worldwide.
In November, the musician released her eponymous fifth studio album featuring the lead track, “Here’s to Never Growing Up.” Lavigne will perform her solo concert at the Olympic Hall in Seoul on Feb. 19. The singer, after having married twice and gone through ups and downs in her music career, is expected to express maturity and celebrate the spirit of rock.