“art space pool” (formerly called. “alternative space pool”, hereinafter “pool”) was initiated and founded as a non-profit art organization collectively by around 20 of local artists, curators, critics, writers and thinkers in Seoul, Korea in April, 1999. It was the time when direct democracy and the rise of civilian subjectivities began to ripe in Korea after four-decade long period of military dictatorship. Another periodical background behind the establishment of pool was the IMF crisis, the nationwide financial crisis that hit strong monopolization of art scene by commercial galleries and governmental agencies. Taking an ironical advantage of financial instability of art market, clusters of individual artists and independent cultural organizers began to form an autonomous physical entity that would serves as public platforms in the art scene of early 2000s.

As one of the forerunners of the alternative art movement of Korea, pool has introduced more than 170 exhibitions, 36 education programs and 13 publications and journa ls until 2009 with the hands of artists themselves. This being said, pool is not just a physical space holding or organizing contemporary art exhibitions, rather a discursive site and spiritual community of a group of local artists dedicated to socially engaged art practices and post-colonial art criticism in modern and contemporary art history of Korea.

“pool” was named after the late Korean modern poet Kim Su-young(1921-68)‘s title of the last poem “풀 Pool" (1968). Meaning "Grass" in English, Pool represents weak yet persistent presence of youth spirit rooted in critical awareness on and deep sympathy with the reality. Described as "falling yet rising earlier than the wind" in the poem, the grass may well symbolizes the indomitable spirit of artistic imagination, empirical knowledge and active engagement in reality, which is still cherished as an institutional agenda of pool.

Finance of pool is constituted by public grants from central government, federal public foundation and municipal government as well as generous donation by individual patrons, members and annual fundraising show. pool has a curatorial office and an international board whose members are responsible for reviewing budgets, fundraising and advising curatorial programs.

Its initial founding period from 1999 to 2003, pool sparked an argument on the sheer absence of "local art languages and perspectives" in heavily commercialized and institutionalized Korean art scene of the late 80s. Calling for a return of the real, pool's dedication was made towards diverse issues in post-modernism, postcolonialism, critique of art systems and cultural policies of Korea. In 2004, pool's status was acknowledged as a legal organization of art professionals and began to formulate organizational structure composed of a board and a curatorial office. Throughout the first state(2004-06) and the second state(2007-09) of pool as an organization, pool persisted enriching the context of post-colonial Korean contemporary art scene by actively engaging the public and local community in collaborative practices with interdisciplinary fields as well as with other local alternative spaces network. In the meantime, as the Insa-dong area, the original location of initial pool, gets extremely normalized and privatized, pool adventured to move its premise to Gugi-dong area, its current location which retains an the 70‘s everyday life scene of the citizens.

Following up this context of pool, the third state of pool(2010-12) is now going to expand the scope of its network and collaboration that transcend twofold borders of geographical distance between the local and the global, and psycho-geographical distance between art and everyday life. Subjects of pool have been cultural producers, once as a collective, and now as a multitude of self-organized creative individuals from different local areas.


organization


1999-2003


representative
LEE Yeong-wook(art critic)
curatorial office
director
HWANG Se-jun(artist, art critic),
PARK Chan-kyong(artist, curator, art critic)
KOH Seung-wook(artist), Cho Ji-eun(artist)
PARK Yong-seok(artist), Kim Jang-un(curator)
CHAE Eun-yeong(curator), Ko Won-seok(curator)


2004-2006 1st STATE


representative
KIM Yong-ik(artist)
trustee
JUNG Deok-young(artist)
board
KIM Yong-cheol(artist)
AHN Gyu-choel(artist)
YOO Sun-hee
YUN Nan-ji(art historian)
YUN Dong-choen(artist)
LEE Yeong-wook(art critic)
JIN Ok-sun
CHOI Jin-wook(artist)
CHOI Byung-sun
HONG Myoeng-sub
(10 members)
inspector
JUNG Dong-seok(artist), Park Man-woo(curator)
curatorial office
director
HWANG Se-jun(artist, art critic)
CHAE Eun-yeong(curator)


2007-2009 2nd STATE


representative
HWANG Se-jun(artist, art critic)
board
KOH Seung-wook(artist)
KIM Gi-soo(artist)
KWON Ja-yoen(artist)
PARK Chan-kyong(artist, art critic)
KANG Hong-gu(artist)
CHANG Yoonju(curator)
Seon Ryeong CHO (independent curator, art theorist)
inspector
YANG Cheol-mo(artist), YOON Jeong-mee(artist)
curatorial office
director
KOH Seung-wook(artist)
guest curator
Seon Ryeong CHO(independent curator, art theorist)
space manager
KANG Dong-hyeong(artist)
curatorial assistant
Minkyoung Kim
Song Hui Kim
Michelle so-young KIM(independent curator)


2010-13 3rd STATE


representative
Heejin KIM
pool board
PARK, Ki-whan(CEO/Art Collecter, UCB Pharmacy Korea, Co. Ltd. Seoul)
PARK Myeong-hak(Director, Art & Town Network, Seoul)
AHN Mi-hee(Exhibition Team Head, Gwangju Biennale Foundation, Gwangju)
YANG Chul-Mo(Artist/Program Organizer, BARI Studio, Seoul)
Haegue YANG(Artist, based in Seoul/Berlin)
Eungie JOO(Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs, New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY)
Manray HSU(Director, Taipei Contemporary Art Center, Taipei)
Maria LIND(Independent Curator/Art Critic/former Director of Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture, Bard College, NY)
auditors
Bora YOON(CEO, DAHM, Seoul)
Seon Ryeong CHO(independent curator/art theorist based in seoul)

<2010 CURATORIAL OFFICE>
director
Heejin KIM
curator
KIM Jinjoo(publication, education, archive)
executive manager
HA Myoungsu
interns
KIM Hyunjoo
KIM Eunkyung

<2011 CURATORIAL OFFICE>
director
Heejin KIM
curator
KIM Jinjoo(2010.9 - 2011.6)
executive manager
HA Myoungsu(2010.3 - 2011.2)/ Sooyeon KIM(2011.2 - 2012.12)
project manager
Taerim HONG(2011.7 - 2012.6)

<2012 CURATORIAL OFFICE>
director
Heejin KIM
executive manager
Sooyeon KIM
project manager
CHOI JaeMin(2012.6 - 2013.2)
associate curator
Jiyoung JUNG(2012.2- )

<2013 CURATORIAL OFFICE>
director
Heejin KIM
chief curator
Eunbi JO(2013.1 - )
administrative Curator
Jiyoung JUNG(2012.2 - 2014.1 )
space manager
Ikkyun SHIN(2013.3- 2015. 2)
associate curator
Bokyung KIM(2012.1 - 2013.12 )
coordinator
Songyi SON(2013.6 - 9) interns
Ayoung KIM(2013.1 - 4)
Kiye KWON(2013.4 - 12)
Najeong LEE(2013.7 - 12)

2014 CURATORIAL OFFICE 4th STATE


director
Heejin KIM
chief curator
Eunbi JO(2013.1 - 2015.1)
administrative Curator
Jiwon Lee(2014.1 - 2015.1)
space manager
Ikkyun SHIN(2013.3 - 2015.2)
associate curator
0 ground_Dayoung Choi(2014.4 - 7)
Occupy Seoul(temporary title) Sunghee Lee(2014)
coordinator
Sooyoung Kim(2014.5 - 9)
interns
yoonhye Jung(2014.4 - 6)

2015-2017 5td STATE


representative
Sunghee Lee
pool board
Eunshil Kim(Professor, Ewha Womans University Women's Studies, Seoul)
Kim Suki(Representative, Hyunsil Cultural Studies publisher, Seoul)
Area Park(Artist, based in Seoul/Tokyo)
Sohyun Ahn(Art Critic, Independent Curator)
Haegue Yang(Artist, based in Seoul/Berlin)
Eun-Young Chae(Director, Slowrush, Seoul)
planning committee
Mixrice(Artist/Program Organizer, based in Seoul)
Sohyun Ahn(Art Critic, Independent Curator)
Lee Je(Artist/Representative, Hapjungjigu, Seoul)
siren eun young jung(Artist, based in Seoul)
Eun-Young Chae(Director, Slowrush, Seoul)

<2015 CURATORIAL OFFICE>
director
Sunghee Lee
curator
Jaeeun Jung(2015.2 - 2016.2)
guest curator
Jungheon Lee(2015.5 - 6)
associate curator
Sohyun Ahn
coordinator
Youngrang Kim(2015.2 - 5)
Hanna Hong(2015.5 - 2017. 1)
space manager
Hyung Joon Kim(2015.6 - 2016. 9)
English editor
Joseph Fungsang

<2016 CURATORIAL OFFICE>
director
Sunghee Lee
curator
Mijung Kim(2016.2 - )
associate curator
Sohyun Ahn
space manager
Hyung Joon Kim(2015.6 - 2016. 9)
coordinator
Hanna Hong(2015.5 - 2017. 1)
Gyeol Yoon(2016.10 - 2017. 1)
intern
Y-ul Suh(2016.3 - 6)
Seyoung Ok(2016.7 - 2017.1)
English editor
Joseph Fungsang

<2017 CURATORIAL OFFICE>
director
Sunghee Lee
curator
Mijung Kim(2016.2 - )
associate curator
Sohyun Ahn
assistant curator
Jiyi Shin(2017.3 - )
English editor
Joseph Fungsang

<2018 CURATORIAL OFFICE>
director
Sohyun Ahn
curator
Mijung Kim(2016.2 - )
Jiyi Shin(2017.3 - )
coordinator
So Hyeon Kim(2018.4 - )
intern
SeungJi Yoo(2018.5 - 8)

110-803 Jongno-gu, Googi-dong 56-13, Seoul, Korea I tel +82 2 396 4805 fax +82 2 396 9636 | altpool@altpool.org | © art space pool, seoul
The website production was made possible by the patronage of Haegyu Yang.