The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] Pinault Collection, forward-looking, finds Korean artists impressive

World's leading art collection is keen on young generation and media art

By Park Yuna

Published : Sept. 4, 2022 - 20:17

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Caroline Bourgeois, chief curator at the Pinault Collection (Korea Arts Management Service) Caroline Bourgeois, chief curator at the Pinault Collection (Korea Arts Management Service)

The Pinault Collection, French billionaire Francois Pinault’s collection of contemporary art, holds more than 10,000 works of art by the world’s established artists. The internationally influential art entity, founded in 1999, runs three museums in Europe.

“When it comes to the ultimate goal of collecting art, for Francois Pinault, it is really to share. As an entrepreneur, he always goes further, and he is curious about the younger generation,” said Caroline Bourgeois, chief curator at the Pinault Collection, on Thursday in Seoul.

In Seoul for six days, Bourgeois said she was impressed by Korean contemporary artists such as Choe U-ram, whose works feature kinetic sculptures inspired by nature, and Kim A-young, whose art crosses medium boundaries in forms such as video, sound, performance and novels.

“I was more interested in media art than classical paintings. That is also the collection we are looking for,” Bourgeois said. In the case of Korea, Bourgeois is looking at it in a more future-oriented way rather than the past, and she is keeping an eye on young artists.

“We don’t go back, we go forward. We are more interested in emerging artists,” she said.

Bourgeois visited Seoul’s major museums such as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, Seoul Museum of Art and Art Sonje Center. She also met with Korean artists in their studios. For many curators including herself, exposure to those museums and artists was a fresh experience, raising artistic questions.

“There are questions in the art world on where to look at art history, and not just in a Western way,” she said.

The Pinault Collection currently runs three museums in Europe: Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice and Bourse de Commerce in Paris, a former stock exchange building redesigned by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The Bourse de Commerce opened last year.

There may be more traveling exhibitions around the world of the collection, rather than opening another new space, she said.

“We have three spaces, which is already a lot, and Francois Pinault cannot travel as much as he used to,” she said. In Korea, the collection was shown at the SongEun ArtSpace in 2011. "It would be curious to do another one,” she added.

The exchange between artists and the Pinault Collection has been made through monographic exhibitions at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana that include Urs Fischer, Martial Raysse, Albert Oehlen, Luc Tuymans and Marlene Dumas. The exhibition dedicated to Dumas is taking place at Palazzo Grassi, coinciding with the Venice Biennale, which runs through January 2023.

While in Seoul, Bourgeois also spoke about the Pinault Collection at the KAMS Art Market & Appraisal Conference organized by the Ministry of Culture. The conference coincided with the inaugural Frieze Seoul, which attracted hundreds of art experts, art patrons and gallerists from around the world to Seoul.

By Park Yuna (">