New York’s Storefront for Art and Architecture launch the Kyong Park Prize for Art and Architecture

The Storefront for Art and Architecture has announced the creation of the Kyong Park Prize for Art and Architecture, a new award that champions the legacy of the organization’s founder. “The past is great, but the future is more desperate and in need of fearless ideas. How can this [award] provide a new outlook or direction for the future?” Park asked.

“The prize will annually honor an individual, collective, or firm currently working at the intersection of art, architecture, and politics with an unrestricted $25,000 award to continue expanding their practice and to provide a safety net as they embark on bold new projects,” according to press materials.

paper materials about the prize
The Kyong Park Prize for Art and Architecture prize will honor an individual, collective, or firm working at the intersection of art, architecture, and politics. (Hatnim Lee)

“At Storefront, we are steadfast in our commitment to amplify creative voices doing important work at this precise intersection that are in need of visibility and support, and we truly hope this newly established prize will provide a seeding ground for this type of work,” Storefront executive director and chief curator José Esparza Chong Cuy remarked.

Earlier this year, the Mellon Foundation awarded the nonprofit with $1.5 million in grant support, which will strengthen programming and support new hires. This funding will also seed the Kyong Park Prize, which is “intended to financially back practices that may not always be eligible for other awards, whether because they do not explicitly qualify as ‘art’ or ‘architecture,’ or because they engage with social and political issues.”

A wide set of nominators and an advisory committee will search for the inaugural recipient of the prize. This process will take place this fall, and a lecture and dinner to celebrate the recipient will be in held in 2025.

A Social Affair

The Kyong Park Prize for Art and Architecture was celebrated on May 2 with a reception and panel discussion held at the studio of artist and board member Christian Nyampeta. Mabel O. Wilson led a conversation with Park, Shirin Neshat, and Elizabeth Diller in front of an audience that included numerous board members and advisors, including president Marc Tsurumaki, Hunter Braithwaite, Tei Carpenter, Belmont Freeman, Natasha Jen, Michael Manfredi, Suchi Reddy, and Barry Bergdoll. Additional notable figures in attendance included Carson Chan, Felix Burrichter, Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, Florian Idenburg, Jing Liu, Manuela Moscoso, Hayley Eber, and Stephen Zacks. The talk was also broadcast live on Montez Press Radio.

talk at Kyong Park Prize announcement
Elizabeth Diller, left, in conversation with Shirin Neshat and Kyong Park (Hatnim Lee)

The talk focused on Storefront’s origin and community. Park, who founded Storefront in 1982, reflected that there are many parallels between the early 1980s and today, as both are times when uncertainty about the future looms broadly in society. New York, pre-Giuliani, was still a rundown metropolis, with cheap rent and burned-out cars. Diller mentioned that there was a sense of apprehension about what might be lost when cleaning up the city. In those days, as it is now, it was a political act to combine art and architecture, as the disciplines have separate educational pathways, funding sources, publics, and academies. “You don’t think about what it makes to make a new institution,” she offered, referencing the labor of so many who helped make Storefront possible.

Neshat remembered the venue as an attraction for artists interested in space, like Mel Chin and Mary Miss. Storefront was a product of the city’s creative atmosphere, perhaps best spatialized in its current wedge of space with its operable facade by Vito Acconci and Steven Holl. (Meetings for its design were chaos and Acconci would leave crying, Claudia Gould, a curator who now serves on Storefront’s Board of Advisors, recalled from the audience.) The space allows the gallery to spill onto the street and vice versa.

Artists, Architects, Activists, All

Still, Storefront and its mission have endured thanks to its community of supporters and string of directors, even as the New York of the 1980s was swept clean and the real estate developers pounced. Park ultimately left because he thought he couldn’t do anything radical due to the monetization of cultural space in New York. He then initiated similar centers in Detroit and Rotterdam. Park remains a professor in visual arts at UC San Diego. Last year, he co-curated the Korean Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale with its exhibition 2086: Together How?.

Under Esparza Chong Cuy, who has led Storefront since 2018 as its executive director and chief curator, exhibitions have combined design, environmental, and social agendas.

Currently, IT IS A GOOD PROJECT AND SHOULD BE BUILT, a three-channel video installation by Fred Schmidt-Arenales about the (controversial) $57 billion Ike Dike to protect Galveston Bay and the Port of Houston from climate change–strengthened storm surges, is on view through June 1.

DSCF2591 scaled
The Kyong Park Prize for Art and Architecture was celebrated on May 2 with a reception and panel discussion at the studio of artist and board member Christian Nyampeta. From left: (Hatnim Lee)

The show is the first in a series titled Swamplands, a collaboration between Storefront and frieze which aims to take “the murky soil and unstable grounds of swamps as a conceptual framework to highlight the ecological and socioeconomic intricacies that lie at the threshold between bodies of water and land.” An ongoing open call for exhibition proposals under this theme has a deadline of June 15.

Earlier this year, Red Canary Song, a collective of migrant massage workers, sex workers, and allies of the Asian diaspora based in Flushing, Queens, installed Flower Spa: Solidarity Outside In, which converted the gallery into a pink-hued replica of a massage parlor and foregrounded “mutual aid as the foundation of abolitionist frameworks.”

AN has regularly covered Storefront’s exhibitions and efforts, as its cofounder Bill Menking was on Storefront’s Board of Directors and is remembered on its website.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top