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Jewyo Rhii. Photo: MMCA.
Jewyo Rhii. Photo: MMCA.

Jewyo Rhii Wins 2019 Korea Artist Prize

The Korea Artist Prize, presented by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), and the SBS Culture Foundation, has named multimedia artist Jewyo Rhii as the winner of its 2019 award. The artist—whose practice spans installations, video, books, drawing, and performance—was recognized for her new installation Love Your Depot, a prototype for an art storage system and collaborative studio she proposed as “a way for sharing art and delaying the death of work by artists.”

Born in 1971, Rhii earned her BFA from Ewha Women’s University, Seoul, and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London. Her solo exhibitions have been staged at Art Sonje Center, Seoul (2017); Galerie Ursula Walbröl, Düsseldorf (2015); and the Queens Museum, New York (2014). Her art has also been included in group exhibitions at the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2014); the Kunstmuseum Basel (2013); the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012); and the 2016 Gwangju Biennale, South Korea. 

Love Your Depot is on display at the MMCA’s Seoul branch alongside work by three other finalists: A-young Kim, Hye-soo Park, and Young-in Hong. Each artist received approximately $35,400 to create new work for the prize exhibition. The jury was made up of Youn Bummo, MMCA director; Bartomeu Marí, former director of the MMCA; Ki Hyekyung, director of the Busan Museum of Art; Dirk Snauwaert, director of WIELS Contemporary Art Centre of Belgium; and Hiromi Kurosawa, chief curator of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan.

Snauwaert, chairman of the committee, described Rhii’s work as beginning “from the problematic of the artist as an individual, then drawing out institutional-level discourse on art as a whole and offering practical solutions.” He continued: “In this age of overproduction, Rhii aptly raises fundamental questions on the production, storage, and archiving of artworks.”