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A Success Story: Lithuanian Artists’ Residencies in South Korea

Lithuanian Culture Institute

On 5-10 June 2019, the curator of the MMCA, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Korea, Keun-Hye Lim, visited Lithuania to get acquainted with the contemporary Lithuanian art scene. As a result of this visit, two Lithuanian artists, Rupert Alternative Education alumni Robertas Narkus and Augustas Serapinas, were selected to participate in the MMCA Changdong International Artist Fellowship Program. This residency was not the only result of the professional networking initiative funded by the Institute’s Study Visit Programme: In September last year, the former head of Rupert, Justė Jonutytė, was invited to share her curatorial experience at an event organised by the MMCA in Seoul. In November, Lolita Jablonskienė, Director of Lithuania’s National Gallery of Art, became chair of the Korean Art Prize 2020 jury.

During the residency, Robertas Narkus will develop his project High Limit, working with local artists and a team of programmers and animators from Vilnius and Seoul to create a collective artwork in which intimate physical and emotional realities will intersect with virtual and digital. In this project, the artist raises the question, “What does cosy, gentle, intimate, sincere, authentic mean in a digital world? Maybe we don’t need it at all?” High Limit will be a project about communication, friendship and loneliness.

The residency will enable Augustinas Serapinas to work on a project under the title Behind the Exhibition, in which he will investigate the activities of invisible people at the institution hosting the exhibition. “I am interested in people who work or live near an art institutions. I am interested in their daily lives, habits, memories and connections with exhibitions and exhibition spaces”, shares Serapinas. The artist will explore how an exhibition that represents the connection between art and the institution, its staff and neighbours, can be created.

The MMCA Changdong Residency Program, hosted by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, is designed to encourage active international collaboration.