The Korea Herald


LG Arts Center set for new chapter in Magok

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Oct. 20, 2021 - 17:18

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Rendering of the new LG Arts Center in Seoul (Courtesy of LG Arts Center) Rendering of the new LG Arts Center in Seoul (Courtesy of LG Arts Center)
The LG Arts Center is gearing up to begin a new chapter in the district of Magok, western Seoul.

The art center, managed by LG’s nonprofit organization the LG Yonam Cultural Foundation, is to move to the Magok area in October 2022, joining the LG Group’s R&D complex LG Science Park.

In July, the center wrapped up its era in Yeoksam, Gangnam -- where it had been situated for some 20 years since its opening -- with its last production at the theater.

“We focused on the potential of Magok. Though Magok is a fast-developing area, it does not have enough culture infrastructure,” Shim Woo-sub, head of the LG Arts Center, said during an online press conference Wednesday. “The LG Arts Center will become a new cultural landmark of Seoul.”

“It is a young, fast developing city with a floating population of 300,000. The 1-person household rate goes up to 42 percent in Magok. It is an area with opportunities and possibilities,” Shim said.

The new art center building will be designed by celebrated Japanese architect Ando Tadao. It will be 41,631 square meters, double the size of the former theater in Gangnam, containing a 1,335-seat Grand Theater and a black box theater with up to 365 seats. The Gangnam theater in Yeoksam had one hall with 1,103 seats.

“Magok area is easily accessible from the central Seoul area, it takes about 30 minutes with three lines of the metro. If we prepare the programs well, audiences will come from anywhere,” said Lee Hyun-jung, head of programming and marketing of the LG Arts Center.

“While the LG Arts Center focused more on contemporary shows, we will come up with programs that can attract a wider range of audiences taking advantage of the wide space in Magok,” Lee said.

The foundation will run the center for 20 years, before donating the new building to the Seoul Metropolitan Government. The city government will have the property rights.

The LG Arts Center has showcased more than 867 works and 6,300 performances over the 21 years since its opening in 2000. More than 4.5 million audience members have visited the center.

Prior to the move, licensed Broadway musical “Hades Town” will continue its run at the center in Gangnam until February. The art center will move to the new theater in March. An official opening is set for October.