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Korea, MoMA jointly present up-and-coming, young architects

2016/07/05 17:19

By Woo Jae-yeon

SEOUL, July 5 (Yonhap) -- A new exhibition will open this week to introduce to the public the country's most gifted, emerging architects, a local museum said Tuesday.

In a press briefing, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul revealed its upcoming exhibition "Young Architects Program," jointly organized by New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), designed to nurture architectural talent and give them a chance to present their creative, innovative works. The exhibition is scheduled to open on Wednesday.

MoMA started the program in 1998 and the work by a winning team has been displayed outdoors for public viewing. The Seoul museum held the program in 2014 as the first Asian city to do so.

Sean Anderson, Associate Curator in MoMA's Department of Architecture and Design, said during the briefing that the Seoul project is an "exceptional contribution to both our museums' history."

   "The program, from the beginning, has been not only a way of expressing a particular moment or response to a question, but also seeing, even if briefly, a new thinking about what contemporary architecture can be," he said.

"Temple'L" by Shinslab Architecture is on display at the courtyard of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul on July 5, 2016. (Yonhap) "Temple'L" by Shinslab Architecture is on display at the courtyard of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul on July 5, 2016. (Yonhap)

This year, Shinslab Architecture led by Shin Hyung-chul won for its project "Temple'L," a portmanteau of temporary and temple according to Shin, among 30 applicants.

Five finalists competed against each other in a task to develop an architectural idea that involves three elements--water, shade, and shelter--with two core messages in mind: sustainability and recycling.

The massive installation "Temple'L" is in the shape of a hull and inside is gutted out to make space for visitors to rest. The museum said Shin's work has been chosen for its witty imagination of recycling seemingly useless materials and giving them a whole new meaning and purpose.

The project reminded him of the "rethinking aspects of construction through the agents of modernism in which architecture moves beyond the image," Anderson said.

The Korean architect, also a professor at the Grenoble National School of Architecture in France, said he has been always fascinated with rusty, obsolete retiring ships.

"Even materials born out of our industrial age get to ooze the beauty of an antique as time goes by. I kept the ruins and rust of the metal plates as I wanted to keep the time-induced beauty," he said.

To secure steel materials for the project, he went down to the port city of Mokpo, 410km southwest of Seoul, and brought 19 pieces of the outer plating of a 35-year-old retiring ship to weld the metal plates together.

Through his work, he also tried to shed light on environmental issues when those ships are dismantled and wasted.

The museum said the work expanded the boundary of architecture and contemporary art, and highly evaluated the project's application of existing materials to a new way of constructing a space.

The exhibit runs through October 3.

Shin Hyung-chul explains his work "Temple'L" during a press briefing at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul on July 5, 2016. (Yonhap) Shin Hyung-chul explains his work "Temple'L" during a press briefing at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul on July 5, 2016. (Yonhap)

The inside of the installation "Temple'L" is outfitted with sitting areas and trees. (Yonhap) The inside of the installation "Temple'L" is outfitted with sitting areas and trees. (Yonhap)

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr

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