Eulsukdo Island (을숙도) is famous for its ecological parks, migratory birds, and a grand view of Nakdonggang River. However, natural habitats are not all it has. The island features the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan, and this unique place makes the area even more attractive.
1191, Nakdongnam-ro, Saha-gu, Busan, South Korea
- Tue – Sun: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Last Entry: 30 minutes before closing)
- Closed: Mondays (If the holiday falls on Monday, the museum will be closed on Tuesday.) and New Year’s Day (Jan. 1)
- MOCA Busan’s Regular Collection: Free
- Special Exhibitions may require a paid admission.
- Subway: Line 1 (Orange Line), get off at Hadan Station (하단역/102), Exit 3 > Transfer to Bus No. 3, 55, 58, 58-1, 58-2, 3, 168, 221, or 520 and get off at Museum of Contemporary Art Busan bus stop (부산현대미술관)
- Free Shuttle (one way from the museum parking lot to Hadan Subway Station) – 4 times a day (2, 3, 4, and 5 p.m.) / Saturday 6 times / Not running on Sundays and Mondays
Paid parking lot available at the museum
- Phone: +82 51-220-7400
- Website: busan.go.kr/moca (Korean and English Available)
- Instagram: @moca_busan
- Facebook: @busan.moca
- YouTube: MOCA Busan
A New Gem of Busan’s Art Scene
The Museum of Contemporary Art Busan (MOCA Busan) is a public art museum established by the City of Busan. The museum opened in 2018 on Eulsukdo Island. It has a total floor area of 15,312 square-meter on a 29,900 square-meter site. I understand the number is quite abstract. The museum is big. This three-story building has exhibition halls, a seminar room, an experience room, a children’s library (Chaekgrimseom/책그림섬), archives, a café, and other offices.
As the name indicates, the museum exhibits modern and contemporary artworks. The museum focuses on themes of nature, the ecosystem, new media art, and humankind. In order to figure out how nature, art, and human beings can coexist under positive relationships, it offers the space for artistic experiments. In addition, the museum serves as a venue for Busan Biennale, Busan’s major art festival.
Every Corner of Museum of Contemporary Art Busan is Artistic
Vertical Garden by Patrick Blanc
The art exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan starts even before you enter the museum. The facade of the building itself is an artwork, Vertical Garden (수직정원), by French botanist and artist, Patrick Blanc (See more of his works over the world here.)
He created these natural walls with 175 species of plants indigenous to Korea. The garden symbolizes the relationship between the museum and the surrounding ecological environment of Eulsukdo Island, and it represents what the museum ultimately pursues.
Chaekgrimseom (Children’s Library)
The children’s library has the name, Chaekgrimseom (책그림섬) and it means an island of books and paintings. The design of the library resembles the reed forest of Eulsukdo Island. The library’s large collection is categorized into nine sections, and it includes award-winning children’s books.
Yourself is sometimes a place call your own by Tobias Rehberger
At the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan, even the cafe is a world-class artwork. The renowned German artist Tobias Rehberger designed the museum’s cafe, ‘Tobias Space‘. He is an installation artist and sculptor, and a winner of Golden Lion at Venice Biennale 2009. The artist also designed patterns in the museum lobby.
Rehberger is best known for his ‘Dazzle Pattern’ design. He got the inspiration for Dazzle Pattern from the thick stripe patterns created by the British military during World War I in order to disturb enemies.
The artist reinterprets the human cognitive process through unique patterns. In addition, he does not limit his creations to a certain genre or space. The café and wall painting in the lobby are all permanent exhibitions of the museum.
Special Exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art Busan
MOCA Busan runs special exhibitions in addition to its permanent collection. I visited the museum for Rain Room by Random International, and I also enjoyed a few more special exhibitions running at that time.
Rain Room by Random International
Rain Room is an installation artwork by Random International and this was its very first exhibition in South Korea. Random International is an art group based in Berlin, Germany, and the art group is known for its experiments with various notions of human consciousness, perception, and instinct.
Rain Room utilizes technology and yet deeply involves human sensors. The museum’s website explains it in detail:
‘…Rain Room is a one hundred square meter environment of continual rainfall, which responds to the presence of those within it. Upon entering, visitors are simultaneously exposed to and protected from the water falling all around. Although the sound and smell of the rain are intense, its touch remains absent leaving visitors dry within a perpetual downpour as they navigate their way through the work….
Rain Room seeks to explore how human relationships, to each other and to nature, are increasingly mediated through technology that is largely intangible. A physical experience that both deprives and intensifies the senses, Rain Room invites an exploration of the individual actions and emotions that can be generated by this unique, counter-intuitive environment…
Throughout these works, Random International considers how the physical and material realities of technological progress might come to be understood…’
He explained for a long time over a corded telephone with a long cord by Junguk Yang
The artist wants to express the subtle balance among people by reorganizing ordinary objects including curved wooden material, blinking bulbs, metallic items, and more.
Seen from a distance, anyone remains still by Junguk Yang
Our Attitude in Dealing with The Collapses by Sindae Kang
- Tuesday – Friday: 3 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Starting at the museum lobby
The schedule is subject to change so please call +82 51-220-7355 regarding a docent-guided tour.
In the area of the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan
When you visit MOCA Busan, plan to explore Eulsukdo Island, Korean Natural Monument No. 179. You can be completely absorbed in nature at Eulsukdo Ecological Park and Eulsukdo Migratory Bird Park. And, you can learn more about the natural surroundings of this region at Nakdong Estuary Eco Center.
Eulsukdo Cultural Center, where you can enjoy various performances and exhibitions, is located within walking distance from MOCA Busan as well. If you visit the museum during autumn, especially in October, you will fall in love with fully bloomed pink muhly at Picnic Plaza.
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