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Sanghee Song Wins 2017 Korea Artist Prize

The Korea Artist Prize, presented by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, and the SBS Foundation—the philanthropic arm of the Seoul Broadcasting System—has named multimedia artist Sanghee Song as the winner of its 2017 award.

Known for her socially engaged work, the Amsterdam-based artist was recognized for a pair of new pieces: Come Back Alive Baby, an apocalyptic three-channel video featuring footage of man-made disaster sites, excerpts from archival films of World War II, and her own drawings, andThis Is the Way the World Ends Not with a Bang but a Whimper, a series of ceramic tiles depicting images of explosions. Song’s works explore ideas related to the tragic hero, trauma, and salvation. The pieces are on display at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, alongside the work of the three other finalists: Hyunjin Bek, Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, and Sunny Kim.

Each artist received approximately $37,600 to create new work for the prize exhibition. The artists will also be the subjects of documentaries produced by SBS. The jury was made up of MMCA director Bartomeu Marí; Jessica Morgan, the director of the Dia Art Foundation in New York; art historian and curator Kim Hong-Hee; and Philippe Pirotte, the director of Staatliche Hochschule für Künste Stadelschule and Portikus in Frankfurt. Commenting on Song’s work, the jury said, “Song had delicately presented the tragic histories of modern societies with fables and careful arrangement of multi-layered research and interviews.”