The Korea Herald


Celebrate holidays with panache at museums, galleries

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Dec. 17, 2018 - 17:56

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It is that time of the year. “All I Want for Christmas” plays seemingly on repeat and Santa decorations are in every window. The year has almost come to an end.

For those tired of the same old alcohol-infused yearend gatherings, museums and galleries are offering a more cultured alternative to celebrating the year that was.

Why not grab a beer next to Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain?” An 8-meter tall “Bearbrick” -- the collectible Japanese toy -- might give you a hug. Or just bring some art home by purchasing a work of art specially created for a good purpose -- perfect for the warm festivities of the holiday season.

Get a bear hug at Sejong Center 

“Hug Bear” stands at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts (SCPA) “Hug Bear” stands at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts (SCPA)

A massive Bearbrick structure stands tall at the central staircase of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul.

The center prepared the 8-meter structure in collaboration with local pop artist Im Ji-bin. Im has been running a project installing balloon Bearbrick structures around the world, from urban landmarks to deserted forests, aiming to bring art closer to people.

Sejong Center’s Christmas installation, “Hug Bear” shares the artist’s aim to invite art into people’s daily lives. The art center’s new policy is emotional safety -- to be a psychologically safe harbor for the people.

The center plans to hold various side events for the structure, including a photo event. The art project was supported by Hyundai Motors.

For more information, call Sejong Center for the Performing Arts at (02) 399-1114.

Take small piece of art home from Gallery Joeun 
“Perfect10” by Woo Kuk-won, oil on canvas (Gallery Joeun) “Perfect10” by Woo Kuk-won, oil on canvas (Gallery Joeun)

Gallery Joeun hosts its annual art fair. This year, around 30 artists submitted 50 pieces of art, most of them created especially for the exhibition.

The fair, now in its third year, is relatively small, with a smaller number of submitted pieces that are smaller than usual in size. There is a good thing to being small: The prices are lower too.

Prices range from 1 million to 10 million won ($880-$8,800). Part of the profits will be used to help the needy.

For more information, call Gallery Joeun at (02) 790-5889.

Party with Duchamp at MMCA Seoul
MMCA’s Museum Night event in 2017 (MMCA) MMCA’s Museum Night event in 2017 (MMCA)

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s branch in Samcheong-dong is to host its “MMCA Museum Night with Duchamp” on Saturday, the opening day of the “The Essential Duchamp” exhibition.

Running until April, the exhibition has some 150 pieces related to the artist on display.

Prior to the party, a celebrity charity bazaar for charity will take place in the basement of MMCA Seoul from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Celebrities who have worked with the museum this year -- including actors Lee Jung-jae, Lee Young-ae and model Lee Hyun-yi -- have donated items for sale.

Profits will go to nongovernmental organization World Vision. The fund will be used to support the children who have been exposed to violence due to regional conflicts and disputes.

Professional disc jockeys and singers will take to the stage and fill the art gallery with upbeat music. A band will perform under the concept of “Hommage to Duchamp.” Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon, Stella Artois and handmade Christmas cookies will be available.

For participation, check the website at Admission is limited to 100 and can reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis through online or onsite reservations.

The event is will start at 6 p.m. The admission fee of 10,000 won per person will be donated to World Vision in the name of the participant.

For more information, call MMCA Seoul at (02) 3701-9500.

By Im Eun-byel (