SEOUL, KOREA — Five thousand works of art by 98 Korean contemporary artists are now available for viewing online as part of the Google Art Project, effective April 4. This latest expansion of the Google Art Project (www.googleartproject.com/), which now counts 30,000 pieces in its diverse online image platform, also includes additions from museums in China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia.
The debut of Korean artists on Google’s platform was arranged in partnership with the Korean Art Museum Association. The 98 artists, who include Kim Bum-su, Kyungmin Nam, Yoo Hyun-mi, and Lee Jae-sam, were first recommended by museums affiliated with the Korean Art Museum Association and then appraised by an independent jury. Unlike additions from other participating countries, where collaboration with Google has been spearheaded by museums and organized on the website accordingly, the works from Korea have been arranged to showcase individual artists.
“Combining the developments of IT technology and the popularity of the Internet, this initiative has the potential to be a very effective international platform for the promotion of Korean art,” said Lee Myung-ok, director of the Korean Art Museum Association. “We hope to find individuals whose artistic merits are still less recognized and introduce them to audiences overseas, contributing to a greater understanding and appreciation for art by Korean artists.”
At an average 7 billion pixels per image, the site offers a detailed view of the various works, including 360-degree views of sculptures as well as virtual tours of the museum spaces, enabled by Google Street View. Viewers can search and browse through works by artist name, work name, type of work, museum name, country, city, and collection, in addition to compiling their favorite works in a personal online gallery.
“In order to give viewers a more comprehensive look at our artists, we hope to provide archival materials for individual artists as well as various published critiques in addition to the works themselves,” said Lee.
The Google Art Project opened in February 2011 with the participation of 17 major museums in nine countries, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Reina Sofia Museum of National Art in Spain, the Palace of Versailles in France, the State Hermitage Museum in Russia, and the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands. With the recent addition of museums in the Asia Pacific region, the number of participating museums has increased to 150 from 40 countries.
More information on Korean contemporary artists can be found at http://www.koreanartistproject.com/eng_main.artmethod=main (English, Korean).