Eungie Joo Joins Instituto Inhotim, Brazil
By Hillary Luong
On July 20, Eungie Joo was appointed director of art and cultural programs at Instituto Inhotim in Brumadinho, Brazil. Joo replaces Jochen Volz, who will assume the role of head of programmes at the Serpentine Gallery in London.
Since 2007, Joo has served as the Keith Haring director and curator of education and public programs at the New Museum in New York. There, she curated the 2012 New Museum Triennial, titled “The Ungovernables,” which featured artists from the West and East Asia, and all over the globe, many of whose works had never been shown in the United States before. Joo further demonstrated her global perspective spearheading “Museum as Hub,” a project space and collaborative network of five international arts organizations, which pursues experimental methods of exhibition, including the 2011 “Museum as Hub: Beirut Art Center.” Previously, Joo was commissioner for the 2009 Korean Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, and was founding director and curator of the Gallery at REDCAT, Los Angeles.
In an emailed statement to ArtAsiaPacific, Joo commented: “For me, Inhotim's work with contemporary artists to develop permanent installations harkens back to the original mission of the Dia Art Foundation, from the 1970s—to support projects that would otherwise be impossible to realize—but it is of course unique at the same time. For an institution to dedicate itself to commissioning and preserving major contemporary works, while the art history concerning the period is being written and rewritten, is an important cultural investment, one in which I am very excited to participate.”
Joo’s experience with international collaborations and community-oriented exhibitions is well-suited to the uniquely situated Instituto Inhotim. Located in the suburbs of Brazil’s third largest metropolitan area, Instituto Inhotim is part botanic garden, sculpture garden and contemporary art gallery, in one. Nestled amongst 247 acres of forests, mountains and gardens, Instituto Inhotim houses an international collection comprising over 500 works, exhibited in both traditional indoor galleries and installed in various pavilions and outdoor spaces throughout the estate.
In a press release, executive director of the Instituto Inhotim, Roseni Sena, commented on Joo's appointed: “Her experience and vision will make a great contribution to shaping Inhotim as a unique place where contemporary art, botany, education and community programs are considered and developed as means of social transformation.” Joo takes up her appointment from September this year.