The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea(MMCA) presents the metaverse-based virtual exhibition and forum 2022 MMCA Asia Project in Seoul & Kassel: Terracotta Friendship from 27 July to 25 September 2022.
The MMCA has biannually carried out the long-term research program MMCA Asia Project since 2018, and this year, in partnership with the international art exhibition documenta 15*, the museum’s lead program will be introduced on the global stage.
*documenta 15: the 15th edition of documenta, an international contemporary art exhibition lasting 100 days and held every five years in Kassel, Germany, since Arnold Bode initiated the inaugural event in 1955
This project is a metaverse-based exhibition that links two cities—Seoul and Kassel—without the constraints of time and space. It is also the first metaverse platform-based virtual exhibition organized by a museum in which everything, from participating artists’ work process and exhibition design to space layout and visitor management, is “born digital.” Beginning with an online forum in the metaverse platform (www.asiawithoutasia.com) on 27 July, the virtual event will be open to visitors until the end of documenta 15 on 25 September. The forum will be livestreamed both in Kassel and Seoul via YouTube, where participating artists and panels in each city will introduce the concept and meaning of the exhibition theme.
Beginning with the question, “Where do we derive our vision for a better life and society?” the project presumes that the word “friendship” has the power to lead sustainable solidarity and community as it discusses the common theme “What is friendship?” The exhibition consists of four meta-pavilions each created by four artists and collaborators under the main theme “Terracotta Friendship.” Visitors can access these pavilions in the metaverse to observe the artworks from various angles and flexibly travel between cities like Seoul and Kassel and the Terracotta City created from artists’ imagination.
In Seoul, Kang Seung Lee, Dew Kim, Yuri An, and WORKS (LEE Yeonjeong, LEE Harim) participate in the forum to discuss their perspectives on “friendship.” Here, the object of friendship encompasses not only people but all others considered different from and outside of “me.” Through the forum and his installation at the metaverse-based exhibition, Kang Seung Lee explores Multigenerational/ Intergenerational Responsibility and Care in the queer community as represented by Tapgol Park and a cactus passed down from generation to generation, positing them as elements of “friendship” on which solidarity and community are built to propose an imagination of a new future. Dew Kim builds an alternative temple called the “Metatemple” as an extended shelter for marginalized people who fall outside dichotomous standards. Yuri An approaches the concept of friendship from a linguistic point of view, asking how people can live together in this world beyond the boundaries of identity such as nationality, ethnicity, and race, which are given and imposed regardless of individual choice. Lastly, the designer duo WORKS (LEE Yeonjeong, LEE Harim) presents Working Together: How to be a BFF, a work that takes the form of a manual and includes stories of the duo’s long experience of working together and the time they spent with those around them.
In Kassel, Jatiwangi art Factory will invite four collaborators who have participated in the Terracotta City project, which began in 2005, to introduce each project and share what they felt and learned during the collaborative process. As the Terracotta City reflects the futuristic imagination of the factory, their projects expand further in conjunction with the concepts of social, economic, and political friendships proposed by Jatiwangi.