# Introduction of Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art -Cheongju
The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA )-Cheongju, which opened on December 27, 2018, is the fourth branch built after Gwacheon, Deoksugung and Seoul. While the three preceding MMCA focus on ‘exhibition function’, the MMCA-Cheongju emphasizes the ‘storage function’ that preserves artworks with proper temperature and humidification. In addition, it plans to relocate 1,300 pieces of the MMCA’s collection and carry out an exhibition, education and research project using them.
The MMCA-Cheongju has been reconstructed as an art museum from an old tobacco factory. It was once the nation’s largest tobacco factory, but it was closed in 2004 and was not being utilized at all. Then, a plan to change that place into an art museum was launched in 2011, and reconstruction began in March, 2018. As a result, the museum turned into a five-story cultural space with ten storage spaces, 15 preserved science spaces, one planning exihibition, two educational spaces and visitor convenience facilities. This reconstruction of MMCA-Cheongju has been highlighted as a successful collaboration between the central and local government. The MMCA said, “Just as France’s old train station became the Orsay Museum, the transformation of an old tobacco factory into an art museum is a notable example.”
#Differentiated Facilities of the MMCA-Cheongju
Unlike other art galleries, the MMCA-Cheongju has opened spaces that have been off-limits to the public. The museum unveiled its representative collections to visitors by displaying their artworks through the ‘Open-storage’ and ‘Window’. Through this, visitors can go in and face the works closer in various perspectives. Also, the conservation processing room, which is a space for experts, will also be opened to operate as a visible preservation science room.
The museum said that it will expand its conservation and processing services for public and private art collections to strengthen its role as an art general hospital and a conservation science hub institution. In addition, it will provide Lachiveum, which means ‘Library+Archive+Museum’, for research. Also, it plans to collect, organize and describe data from major artists of the same period and open it to public in the second half of next year.
# Special Exhibition of the Opening – ‘A Day for Counting Stars: The Story of You&Me’
The opening special exhibition, ‘A Day for Counting Stars: The Story of You&Me’ features 23 works by 15 renowned artists, paying attention to small everyday stories through various media, including paintings, photographs, sculptures and video installations. The artworks are not just an art for appreciation of a particular audience, but the precious ‘story’ of neighbors who are accompanied and loved by each other.
When visitors enter the exhibition room, Kimsooja's ‘A Needle Woman’ filmed in eight cities around the world will deliver a message of communication and empathy, transcending the differences between various countries and races. KEEM Sangwoo's hyperrealism painting ‘Generation’ is based on daily life and CHOI Xooang's hyperrealism sculpture ‘The Hero’ is based on his father's story. At the end of the exhibition hall, ‘Galaxy’ by KIM Eull, which shows giant galaxy composed of about 1,200 drawing pieces, makes a grand finale.
Yun-ji Lee (Art Ed.) who had been to this museum said, “It was really impressive to see a variety of works in a storage. In particular, the works using video and huge works caught my eye. I was greatly inspired to see and feel the experimental artistic spirit of the artists and unique techniques, media and colors. I think it became a good stimulus to me. And I hope other people could have the aesthetic experience through this exhibition as well.”
Through the stories about our familiar neighbors of the exhibition, the museum is expected to grow visitors’ intimacy to modern art, which was only vaguely obfuscated and difficult. Also, it looks forward to be loved more by local audiences in Cheongju and Chungbuk through its diverse and interesting exhibitions as the mecca of preservation of luxury contemporary art at home and abroad.
Following the opening special exhibition, an exhibition titled ‘The Adventures of Current Painting’ will be held in the second half of next year. In addition, the museum said it plans to pursue joint project variously with the Cheongju International Craft Biennale, the Regional Museum of Art and the artist Residency. Along with the exhibition, there will also be a variety of customized education programs for visitors. Also, it will join forces with local universities to foster professional manpower specializing in art by utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and specialized experts and spaces.
The MMCA said, “The MMCA-Cheongju will be an art museum that communicates with local people and a central institiution in charge of cultural life in nearby communities including Cheongju. The opening of MMCA-Cheongju will move beyond the metropolitan area to become a nationwide museum of art.”
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