• News
  • Mar 03, 2023

Weekly News Roundup: March 3, 2023

KIM HEECHEON, Deep in the Forking Tanks, 2019, still from HD video: 42 min 54 sec. Courtesy the artist.

Kim Heecheon Wins 20th Hermes Foundation Missulsang 

Hermes Korea has awarded media artist Kim Heecheon the 20th Hermes Foundation Missulsang on February 27. The Seoul-based artist is known for his extensive use of digital technologies—including GPS, VR, and Face Swap—to capture the ambivalent dynamic between physical and virtual worlds. This year’s six-member jury, which included M+ museum’s deputy director Doryun Chong, lauded Kim’s practice for dealing with “some of the most challenging and urgent questions [in an] age of digital domination, especially . . . the restructuring of human physicality, emotion, memory, imagination and, eventually, self-identification.” The biennial award was established in 2000 to support rising young South Korean artists, with a KRW 20 million (USD 15,200) grant and a chance to present a solo exhibition at the Atelier Hermes, a gallery within the luxury label’s flagship store in Seoul. Additionally, Kim will also have an opportunity to visit the foundation’s headquarters, as well as museums and galleries in France.

Installation view of TARO OKAMOTO’s Tower of the Sun (1970) at the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, 2023.

Mini Tower of the Sun Damaged at the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art

On February 23, a mini-edition of Taro Okamoto’s sculpture Tower of the Sun was vandalized at the late Japanese artist’s latest touring exhibition at the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art. According to the museum, a visitor “hit the tower with his hand” and damaged the sculpture, mainly made of fiberglass reinforced plastics. The suspect, who is an office worker at a Nagoya-based company, was soon arrested by the police, but he denied all allegations and claimed that he “does not remember what happened.” The sculpture, which belongs to the collection of the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art in Kawasaki, is a one-fiftieth scale replica of Okamato’s famous 70-meter-tall Tower of the Sun (1970) produced in 1970 for the opening of Expo 1970 Osaka and is currently located in the Expo Commemoration Park. As in the original version, the miniature sculpture features the sun with a human face and arms spreading sideways like wings. The organizers of the exhibition have examined the work’s condition and repaired it. It will be on view again starting from March 3, with an enhanced surveillance system. The exhibition is the largest of Okamoto’s to date and has toured to the Nakanoshima Museum of Art in Osaka and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.

Exterior view of the Wing Sang Building, the oldest structure in Chinatown, Vancouver. Courtesy Rennie Museum, Vancouver.

Chinese Canadian Museum Receives Donations from Prominent Philanthropic Families

The Chinese Canadian Museum Society of British Columbia, a nonprofit organization in Vancouver dedicated to preserving and sharing the Chinese Canadian story, has received a total of CAD 3.8 million (USD 2.79 million) in donations from two prominent Chinese-Canadian families credited for their significant social efforts. The donors, namely the Lee Tak Wai Foundation from Ontario donating on behalf of Vivienne Poy and her family, as well as the David and Dorothy Lam Foundation from British Columbia, will support ongoing works surrounding the opening of the Museum’s first physical space in the historic Wing Sang Building of Vancouver’s Chinatown. Poy was the first Canadian of Asian heritage appointed as a federal senate member, advocating for gender equality, multiculturalism, and humanitarian rights during her appointment. The late David See-Chai Lam and his wife Dorothy impacted the region’s education and cultural landscape through their numerous philanthropic projects. Founded in March 2020, the Chinese Canadian Museum Society has been actively organizing programs across Canada to “[honor] Chinese Canadian history, contributions, and living heritage.” Their physical space is set to open on July 1, Canada Day, with an exhibition titled “The Paper Trail to the 1923 Chinese Exclusion Act,” marking a century since the historic immigration ban was passed.

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