MOCA LAUNCHES WAREHOUSE PROGRAMS WITH FOUNDING GIFT FROM MOCA TRUSTEE WONMI KWON
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is extremely pleased to announce a founding gift for WAREHOUSE Programs. This generous and transformative gift comes from longtime MOCA Trustee Wonmi Kwon, her husband Kihong Kwon and family. Located in MOCA’s Little Tokyo space, WAREHOUSE Programs will include curated programs that highlight performance and performing arts, artistic experimentation, experiential installations, a wide range of contemporary and social practices, and festival-like open events such as conventions, summits, readings, idea fairs, concerts, screenings, dance, as well as group, family, and community-oriented activities that encourage diverse, intergenerational experiences for new and established audiences. This gift will make possible a significant increase in programming and the infrastructure needed to support the space and its activities for years to come.
“It’s a bit over a year that Wonmi and I started talking about the cutting edge of contemporary art, the artist’s studio, performing arts, and performance art and the artistic spirit of the Temporary Contemporary,” explains MOCA Director Klaus Biesenbach. “We began exploring the idea of WAREHOUSE Programs immediately when we met, and now she and her family are founding Wonmi’s WAREHOUSE Programs! What an incredible gift for the community of Los Angeles and beyond! I cannot thank her enough and am very honored and grateful for this transformative gift!”
This support will enable The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Little Tokyo to be open and available year-round and allows the warehouse location to be re-conceptualized as a convening space to engage and activate the community. In addition, this foundational contribution makes possible the creation of an artist bar and restaurant connecting The Aileen Getty Plaza with Wonmi’s WAREHOUSE Programs. This gift will be launched with a seminal mural facing Alameda Street by artist Barbara Kruger which bookends an earlier gift, also made by Wonmi Kwon and her family, of the Barbara Kruger mural, Untitled (Questions) (1990/2018), installed at MOCA Geffen one year ago. Work has already begun on evaluating infrastructure needs to realize WAREHOUSE Programs and the new offerings will begin to roll out in 2020.
“I have been part of the MOCA family for many decades and it is with renewed confidence and excitement about the museum that we make this gift,” says Kwon. “The space in Little Tokyo has always resonated with me for its physical and metaphorical proximity to the artist’s studio. It is a space of innovation, freedom, and experimentation. Knowing it will now be activated and opened up to the community in a robust and exciting way brings me and my family great joy.”
“Wonmi has been an inspiration to me and the entire board since she first became involved with the museum nearly 30 years ago,” remarks MOCA Board Chair Maria Seferian. “Wonmi and Kihong’s gift will make it possible for MOCA to return to its roots, at its first location originally named ‘The Temporary Contemporary’ and launch a program that showcases our museum’s commitment to the community, to living artists, and to new art practices. We’re so honored and thrilled by this gift!”
WAREHOUSE Programs further the museum’s mission by creating a space that allows for exchange within our communities, welcoming a broad range of voices, and drawing on the intersection of contemporary art with local and global topics such as environment and social justice.
The Art of Debranne Cingari
From Debranne Cingari’s VW Love collection, this striking image is the product of the artist’s exploration of Miami, driving a VW Bug through the city in search of her next muse. Photographing her car against a backdrop of graffiti’d walls, she has captured and manipulated intriguing images to create unique new compositions that play on the relationship of the car and the graffiti imagery. In “Nora’s Sweet Nothings” the composition suggests that the figure is whispering a secret to the car. Adding an element of color, the artist draws us deeper into the focal point of the lips. Color variations are available in limited editions in 24 x 24 and 48 x 48 inch sizes.
Photographer and assemblage artist Debranne Cingari is based in CT, but spends her time traveling the world seeking inspiration for her artwork. Her work has been included in major contemporary art fairs throughout the US, and is held in corporate and public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Cingari is the recipient of numerous awards for her photography from Photographer’s Forum Magazine, and the prestigious Salmagundi Club in New York.