MMCA picks Kwon Byung-jun as artist of the year

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) said Thursday it has picked sound artist Kwon Byung-jun as the final winner of the Korea Artist Prize 2023 for his insightful approach to art, humanity and technology. Kwon has been experimenting with sound works, focusing on "recording three-dimensional sound" and "representing it in exhibition settings, and developing related technologies while planning and presenting new media performances that encompass aspects of music, theater and art," the MMCA said. The Korea Artist Prize was established in 2012 by the national museum and the SBS Culture Foundation to recognize promising, resourceful artists with sharp insight into society and art. The 2023 edition is the first one since the museum made some changes to the award system, including a rise in the financial support to 50 million won (US$36,850) per artist from 40 million won, the exhibition of each artist's artworks from the past to deepen an understanding of them, and an overhaul of the final d eliberation process to include open discussion sessions between artists and the jury. The MMCA is currently running an exhibition showcasing the works of Kwon and the three other finalists. The exhibition runs through March 31. For the exhibition, Kwon staged a theatric show played by machines to cast a new perspective on robots. His robots are far from useful, efficient workers that can replace humans. "The emergence of robots that are allowed to be useless is a bitter reminder of the human workers whose labor has been devalued by the rise of robots," the MMCA said. Source: Yonhap News Agency