|“My Chagall, Your Picasso” is at Jeju Museum of Art. Photo by Kim Seonyoung
An art exhibit of some magnitude is currently on display in Jeju.
“My Chagall, Your Picasso,” displaying the works of more than 50 of the western world's masters, is unprecedented on this island. In celebration of the museum's 4th anniversary, it is by a margin the largest and most remarkable display that either JMoA or any other Jeju museum has offered to date.
Genres represented in the exhibit include Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Ecole de Paris, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, and more, representing 19th~20th century artists primarily from western Europe and the Americas.
The show is on loan in its entirety from the Venezuela National Museum of Art Foundation, co-sponsored by the governments of Jeju and Venezuela and underwritten by Nonghyup and Jeju banks. The collection was first exhibited late last year at Chonbuk National University Museum in North Jeolla Province, where new JMoA director and artist Kim Hyun Sook and colleagues saw it and were inspired to bring it to Jeju.
Experts from the museum in Venezuela traveled to Jeju in order to personally hang the show, instructing the local museum staff in proper climate, lighting and other control. The foundation that owns the paintings is understandably cautious with its care and display.
Placement and lighting of the exhibit's works is flawless, though the prescribed traffic pattern, while its practicality and necessity are understood, is somewhat more controlled than one might like. The works are displayed through the entire two floors of the museum with a good deal of space and flow which preclude any sense of crowding.
For those familiar with western art, this can feel like a visit with old friends, as works of virtually all expected masters are included. For others, the show can give the impression of a visit to any number of museums in Paris, London, Barcelona or New York.
Wall descriptions of each genre are offered in English, Chinese and Japanese as well as Korean. Audio guide headsets are provided in Korean language only, as is the show's brochure, and the attractive program book for sale in the gift shop. Director Kim expressed regret that their budget for the exhibit did not allow for the inclusion of more translated materials.
The show opened on March 19 with an admission price of 10 thousand won, and attendance in the first two weeks exceeded 10 thousand. It will run through July 14.
Dr. Hilty is a cultural psychologist from New York who now makes Jeju Island her home.
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