Art media

Hyundai Card Opens Art Library Full of Contemporary Art Books in Itaewon

The interior of the Hyundai Card Art Library in Itaewon, central Seoul. [HYUNDAI CARD]

A library dedicated to art lovers has opened in Itaewon, central Seoul. Neatly stacked on its shelves are original art book publications – a significant amount of which are quite rare.

Hyundai Card opened the Art Library, the fifth in its series of libraries after the Design Library, Travel Library, Music Library and Kitchen Library, on Tuesday. The Art Library is located on the second floor of Hyundai Card Vinyl & Plastic, a music store.

This is not the first time that the credit card company has been at the forefront of cultural spaces. Storage by Hyundai Card, located in the basement of the Hyundai Card Vinyl & Plastic building, is an art exhibition space that has proven popular, especially among the younger generation.

The music library houses a collection of rare vinyl from legends such as Led Zeppelin and the Beatles. Visitors can freely listen to the vinyl thanks to the turntables available on site.

The interior of the Hyundai Card Art Library in Itaewon, central Seoul. [HYUNDAI CARD]

The interior of the Hyundai Card Art Library in Itaewon, central Seoul. [HYUNDAI CARD]

Today, Hyundai Card has delved into the art books with the help of four art experts: Yasmil Raymond, curator of visual arts and rector of the Städelschule Frankfurt; Clarrie Wallis, director of British art gallery Turner Contemporary; Sophie Cavoulacos, curator in the Department of Cinema at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York; and Jillian Suarez, manager of library services at MoMA.

“When we chose to create an art library, we thought about how we would approach this area, because it requires professional expertise,” said Ryu Su-jin, vice president of the brand division of Hyundai Card, during a press conference at the art library last time. Thursday. “We decided to focus on contemporary art, because it reflects modern visions, and we worked hand in hand with the best experts, like those at MoMA. This has been possible thanks to Hyundai Card’s partnership with MoMA over the past 16 years.

The art library is filled with over 6,000 books on contemporary art.

“Andy Warhol’s Index (Book)” (1967) by Andy Warhol is on display where visitors can browse the pages on their own. [SHIN MIN-HEE]

"Freedom: a fable" (1997) by Kara Walker [SHIN MIN-HEE]

“Freedom: A Fable” (1997) by Kara Walker [SHIN MIN-HEE]

Artists’ Publishing Book, a section that houses a collection of art books published by the artists themselves, includes rare works by artists like Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Anish Kapoor, 68, and Kara Walker, 52 years. The books are so valuable that visitors must wear gloves to touch them and staff members are on standby at all times.

Another section, Complete Collections, features every MoMA exhibition catalog since 1929, every Venice Biennale catalog since 1895, and every edition of Parkett Magazines, a contemporary art magazine, from 1984 to its end date. in 2017.

Moving Image Room is a separate room where visitors can watch media or performance art from the 1960s to 1970s via on-site computers by artists such as Nam June Paik (1932-2006), Bill Viola, 71 , Vito Acconci (1940-2017) and Joan Jonas, 86 years old.

“This is an intimate research space where visitors can access approximately 80 works of video art related to the history of performance and the history of cinema, and a truly exciting selection, in some cases quite rare. [range of works]“said Cavoulacos.

Hyundai Card Art Library Moving Image Room in Itaewon, central Seoul. [HYUNDAI CARD]

Hyundai Card Art Library Moving Image Room in Itaewon, central Seoul. [HYUNDAI CARD]

The library has a warm atmosphere, which was influenced by the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris, said Choi Kyung-hee, principal designer at interior design firm Spackman Associates. Choi took charge of the interior of the art library.

“We tried to produce a warm, comfortable and cozy space, to give the impression that the library had already existed for a very long time,” Choi said. “Notice the details, like the rough texture of the ceiling and the factory lights casting golden illumination. We have arranged sofas, desks and wooden chairs for visitors to read in different areas of the library. These effects create a different feeling in the evening, it’s much more impressive.

The library staircase has glass fronts on green frames to heighten anticipation when visitors see the cloudy reflection of the art books waiting for them.

The interior of the Hyundai Card Art Library in Itaewon, central Seoul. [HYUNDAI CARD]

The interior of the Hyundai Card Art Library in Itaewon, central Seoul. [HYUNDAI CARD]

“As head of library services at MoMA, my job is to enable visitors to access materials and learn about art history or visual culture,” Suarez said, “and for this project, that’s where I thought: who would be the researcher entering this library, who would be interested in art [and] who would spend time at the reference table? With this selection of books, it wasn’t just basic text; it was heavy on theory too.

The library is especially welcoming to foreigners, as the art library emphasizes collecting books in their original published form, regardless of language.

"Variant 1" (1960) by John Cage [SHIN MIN-HEE]

“Variation 1” (1960) by John Cage [SHIN MIN-HEE]

“We discussed what the standards for the language of the books should be,” Ryu said. “It’s true that ultimately, there are few Korean books here. However, we believe that the visual images of the art are best conveyed to the reader with its original text rather than the translated versions. We have staff members available if visitors have questions about the content of the books.

The Hyundai Card Art Library is open daily, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. On Sundays and public holidays, it closes at 6:00 p.m. Visitors must have their Hyundai card and ID with them to enter and are permitted entry with up to two additional people. If you don’t have a Hyundai card, you can make a reservation to visit through the Hyundai Card DIVE mobile app. Art books are also searchable through the app.

BY SHIN MIN-HEE [[email protected]]