The Korea Herald


Ryu Sung-sil wins 19th Hermes Foundation Missulsang

By Park Yuna

Published : March 3, 2021 - 15:41

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"I’m Not Dead!” by Ryu Sung-sil (Artist’s website)

Artist Ryu Sung-sil has been selected as the winner of the 19th Hermes Foundation Missulsang, the foundation announced Tuesday.

The young artist has explored a variety of art medium that reflect her critique of social issues in Korea as an artist.

Once every two years, the foundation selects a talented new Korean artist to promote in Korea and abroad. The awardee is given 20 million won ($17,800) in prize money and is given financial support to create new works for a solo exhibition at the nonprofit Atelier Hermes gallery in Seoul the fall of the following year. 

"(The artist) presents a new approach to disrupt the existing dichotomy between art and non-art as well as reality and fiction through a kind of ‘one-person media show.’ She has built a world of art that implies both locality and universality by combining and reconstructing her family history, contemporary political-social issues in Korea, and traditional forms with her keen insight,” the jury said in a review. 

Two-minute single-channel video work “Never Ending Family” by Ryu Sung-sil (Artist’s website) Two-minute single-channel video work “Never Ending Family” by Ryu Sung-sil (Artist’s website)

After graduating from Seoul National University, where she majored in sculpture, in 2018 and earning a master’s degree in 2021 at the same university, Ryu has been exploring a variety of art from sculpture to multimedia art, including a 2-minute video work “Never Ending Family” and a 15-minute video work “Bigking Travel 2020.” Ryu’s artworks can be seen at the artist’s official website (

This year’s jury consisted of three Korean and three foreign members: Kim Yun-kyoung, former curator of Atelier Hermes and independent curator; Yang Hae-gue, internationally acclaimed artist and professor at Stadelschule who was the Hermes Korea Missulsang award finalist in 2003; Yoo Jin-sang, art critic and professor of Kaywon University of Art & Design who was the artistic director of the 7th Seoul Media City Biennale (2012); Giuseppe Penone, world-renowned Italian sculptor acclaimed for his leading role in the Arte Povera movement; Jean-Michel Alberola, one of the most influential French artists associated with Figuration Libre; and Pascal Mussard, vice president of Fondation d’entreprise Hermes.

Hermes Foundation Missulsang was launched in 2000 by Hermes Korea. The art award earned a prestigious position in the country by supporting many talented rising artists over the years, including Suh Do-ho in 2003, Koo Jeong-a in 2005 and Yangachi in 2010.

The 18th Hermes Foundation Missulsang went to Jun So-jung who made her name with narrative-focused works using various media, including photography, installations and video. Her solo exhibition at Atelier Hermes in Seoul took place last year.

By Park Yuna (