press release

Ever eager to shed light on the emerging art scene through extramural exhibitions, the Palais de Tokyo and its Pavillon Neuflize OBC artist-in-residence programme have joined forces with the Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) and the SeMA Nanji Residency to present the Urban Legendsexhibition at SeMA. The show is the result of an exchange project celebrating the 130th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and France.

The exhibition presents the work of the 2015–2016 residents of the Pavillon Neuflize OBC: Alexis Guillier (France), Hoël Duret (France), Jean-Alain Corre (France), Lou Lim (Philippines), Ollie Palmer (UK), Ayoung Kim (South Korea, a previous resident artist of the SeMA Nanji Residency) and Ange Leccia (France), director of the Pavillon Neuflize OBC. It is the culmination of months of experimental collaboration between the two residences and a workshop conducted in Seoul by the Pavillon Neuflize OBC residents.

Urban Legends merges influences, topics and patterns from Paris, Seoul and other cities, introducing fictions, rumours and artistic dissemination. Each artist creates their own version of urban myths, playing with narratives and perspectives in the age of globalization.

From a lecture about Candyman (Alexis Guillier) to the conception of the Opéra de Paris as a vessel linked to the history of bitumen (Ayoung Kim), as well as the apparition of the Twin Towers (Ange Leccia), the works produce reflections and doubts about what is surely known.

The show presents thematic and formal contrasts, mirroring the influx of information we have become accustomed to in the internet era.

Bread metamorphosed into jugs (Lou Lim), weird bondage for a mattress (Jean-Alain Corre), coloured paintings opening a window to the fourth dimension (Hoël Duret), a dual-screen film examining propaganda and business (Ollie Palmer); all the objects, installations and videos imply that reality is sometimes far more disturbing than screens when we step out of the frame of truth.

This project is part of the Palais de Tokyo's ongoing mission to promote the contemporary French art scene in an international context. Previous initiatives have included an exhibition co-produced with the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2015–16), two participations at the Lyon Biennale (2013 and 2015), the itinerant exhibition Inside China (a co-production with the K11 Foundation) and projects with MoMA PS1 and the Stedelijk Museum in 2014. 

About Pavillon Neuflize  

OBC Created by the artist Ange Leccia in 2001, the Pavillon Neuflize OBC is the research lab of the Palais de Tokyo and home to the artist-in-residence programme.

Each year, six young international artists join the scheme for a period of eight months, from November to June. The residency is defined by three major projects: a collective multidisciplinary workshop abroad, the creation of a collective project in partnership with other institutions in France and an individual project at the Palais de Tokyo. More than 150 artists have been residents of the Pavillon since its inception, including Laurent Grasso (Marcel Duchamp Prize 2007), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Palme d'Or Cannes Festival 2010), Isabelle Cornaro and Benoît Maire (Ricard Corporate Foundation Prize 2010) and Oliver Beer (Daiwa Foundation Prize 2015). 

About Nanji-SeMA

Seoul Museum of Art is the leading art museum in Seoul, Korea, which aims to be a future-oriented museum meeting the demands of the time. Under the new vision of "post-museum," the museum identifies itself to become a space of participation and communication by overcoming the institutional and conventional limits of a traditional art museum. Seoul Museum of Art aims to meet various demands from the art world by its regional hubs and specialization of each museum branch, and to fulfill diverse interests of the visitors. SeMA Nanji Residency is an incubator for the creation and international exchange of art that facilitates overcoming institutional limits of mainstream museum culture.