The Korea Herald


MMCA highlights humans’ playful side

By Park Yuna

Published : June 11, 2021 - 18:03

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"Souvenir” by Lee Hun-chung (MMCA)

An exhibition at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, reminds people to be playful instead of getting obsessed with the results of their actions in this efficiency-oriented society.

The exhibition, “Switch Things Up,” was inspired by Dutch historian and cultural theorist Johan Huizinga’s (1872-1945) philosophy of “homo ludens,” which suggests that the desire for play is a defining characteristic of humanity and urges a return to “playful humankind.”

"Obsession Series” Lee Kwang-ho (MMCA)

It showcases 30 artworks by seven artists and a collective -- Seo Jeong-hwa, Shin Hea-lim, Lee Kwang-ho, Lee Sang-min, Lee Joo-na, Lee Hun-chung, Hyun Kwang-hun and NOL -- whose works embody the concept of enjoying the process. 

Lee Kwang-ho, Seo Jeong-hwa and Shin Hea-lim present installation works structured through repetitive processes using multifarious materials, while Hyun Kwang-hun and Lee Sang-min showcase objects that are meticulously designed to perform precise, complex movements using mechanical gears. 

"Nutcracker” by Lee Sang-min (MMCA)

"A museum is like an imagination-charging station. Those artists who have invented playful games using creative media and their own imaginations will offer inspiration for visitors,” said Youn Bum-mo, director of the MMCA.

Over the past few years, MMCA Gwacheon has undergone renovations to enhance its function as a family-friendly museum. The venue also includes a children’s museum.

The exhibition runs through Feb. 27, 2022, and online reservations are required. For more information, please visit

By Park Yuna (