The Napping Wizard Sessions
Interview: Moo Kwon Han
In this episode I talk with multi-media artist Moo Kwon Han about his recent exhibition, DRUM, at the Gyeongin Art Museum in Seoul, Korea. To make this work, he was granted access to multiple power facilities, many of them nuclear, all in South Korea. In our conversation we unravel the works in the exhibition, from the initial inspirational image of a detail of yellow drums containing radioactively contaminated clothing – a mere fraction of the total drums in this facility – all the way through to a final musical score that encapsulates both the path and the contents of the exhibition. When we see artworks in museums and galleries, it’s like looking at a lightening strike. We’re amazed by the instantaneous moment and evidence of what was created, but we really don’t understand what went into its making. In our conversation, I draw out the creative path Han followed in constructing Drum. I encourage you to look at his website before listening: https://www.hanmookwon.com/drum.
Mookwon Han was born in Gyeongju, Korea, and currently lives in New York. He has had solo shows at Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul (2017, 2020 forthcoming), Doosan Gallery New York (2009), CUE Art Foundation New York (2009), and Gyeongin (Kyung-In) Art Museum, Seoul (2000, 2019). Han’s work has been included in group exhibitions at Cube Museum, Seongnam; NY Media Center (2017); The Fondazione Filiberto Menna, Salerno, Italy; Galeria U Jezuitow, Poznan, Poland; Bund18 Creative Center, Shanghai, China; Coreana Museum, Seoul, Korea; Nation Centre for Performing Art, Asia Society Mumbai Centre, Mumbai, India; Metropolitan Pavilion, NY; David Zwirner Gallery, NY; Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery/ Asia Society Museum NYC; Unit B Gallery, San Antonio: Hoam Gallery and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul.
Han received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts NYC (2006), attended the Skowhegan School (2008) and participated in residencies at Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (2015-16), Seoul Foundation for Art and Culture (2013-14), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program (2011-12), LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island (2010), Art OMI (2009) and CUE Art Foundation(2008) and was a Smack Mellon Hot Pick. He was awarded a Korea Hydro Nuclear Power, Co. and Gyeongju Cultural Foundation Grant (2020), Puffin Foundation Grant, and New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship in Digital/Electronic Arts (2009) and joined as a review panelist (2014/2017).