'Media City' Opens New Horizon for Digital Art @ Although Korea Is One of the Most Wired Nations in the World, Its New Media Art Scene Has Not Caught Up with Its Technological Advance. Media Art, Art That Utilizes Computer Technology or Video, Has Been Rarely Acknowledged until Recently, as the General Public Is Still Hesitant to Break Away from the Conventional Notions of Art
But a string of of exhibitions dedicated to innovative new mode and media in recent months shows that the trend is clearly and rapidly changing. The latest art festival underway in Seoul vividly exemplifies the shifting trend as it is the biggest-ever media art event held in the nation.
Under the auspice of the Seoul City administration, ``Media City Seoul 2000,'' which opened last Saturday to run until the end of October, is to develop into a world-wide biennale to present the newest trends in global digital art. The exhibitions are taking place at the Seoul Metropolitan Museum in the now-defunct Kyonghwi Palace near Kwanghwamun, and dozens of public venues, including 13 subway stations and 42 sites with electronic billboards.
An international event of grand scale, Media City exhibitions are designed by such renowned curators like Barbara London at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Jeremy Millar, an artist and independent curator based in London, showcasing a vast array of works by 132 artists from Korea and 20 other countries. The works mostly demonstrate a variety of issues related to technological revolution and changing lives in modern society.
The event is largely divided into five parts; ``Media Art 2000,'' ``Digital Alice,'' ``Media Entertainment,'' ``City Vision'' and ``Subway Project.'' The first three are featured solely at the Seoul Metropolitan Museum.
The main exhibition ``Media Art 2000'' presents important works of leading media artists such as Laurie Anderson, Matthew Barney, Gary Hill, Steve McQueen, Rosemarie Trockel, Bruce Nauman, Paik Nam-june and Lee Bul.
The centerpiece of the show is ``The Market'', which the world-renowned video artist Paik Nam-june created for the event. It features a TV monitor mounted on a traditional Korean kama (palanquin), projecting old and contemporary scenes of Tongdaemun and Namdaemun markets. The work interprets the two markets as a space for dynamic human actions as well as the driving forces of Seoul.
``City Vision'' uses flickering electronic billboards as a medium for art. Twenty-six artists, architects, filmmakers and video artists present their works, most of which run less than 60 seconds, on 42 electronic billboards in Seoul. …