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MMCA hosts largest print exhibition in decade to rediscover marginalized art genre

Installation view of “Prints, Printmaking, Graphic Art” at MMCA’s Gwacheon venue (MMCA)
Installation view of “Prints, Printmaking, Graphic Art” at MMCA’s Gwacheon venue (MMCA)

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) is hosting the largest print exhibition in 13 years to explore the print art, which has been relatively unknown to the public as an art genre.

“The exhibition is expected to reaffirm the values of Korean prints and encourage more interest on the potential of the marginalized genre,” said Youn Bummo, director of MMCA.

The exhibition, “Prints, Printmaking, Graphic Art,” at the Gwacheon venue features around a hundred works by 60 artists who represent Korea’s print art. The exhibition will open on Thursday and run until Aug. 16.

Print art has been developed as one of the main art genres in Korea’s art history, particularly in the 1960s to 1990s, with unique techniques but started to lose its stance in the 2000s as a variety of new art genres such as video art and convergence art have flowed in.

The exhibition consists of four sections: “Book Store,” “Street,” “Studio,” and “Platform” borrowing the terms of familiar places to shed a light on how print art has been intertwined in our lives.

The section “Bookstore” looks into the relation between print art and printing culture, exploring art books inserted with print art. The “Street” session shows how print works have intervened in social issues to function as a form of media while “Studio” highlights how print art differs from other art genres in terms of producing procedures such as emblematic techniques. The last section, “Platform” showcases how print art could be understood as contemporary art.

MMCA is currently accepting visitors through the online reservation system on its website. Those who want to appreciate the artworks in person can make reservations through the MMCA website for free. All visitors are required to wear face masks and undergo temperature checks before entering the museum. The reservation system will continue temporarily until COVID-19 pandemic calms down. 

By Park Yuna (