Daegu-based art magazine Bracket has reopened six months after stopping production after acquiring a new editor and new funding.
The first edition of the relaunched magazine came out in July, featuring work in various genres and media from Anton Maxwell, Mesh Printing, Lee Gyu-ri, Jung So-hyun, Lee Sang-bong and Martyn Thompson.
The staff of the magazine, which was started in 2012 by expats Jess Hinshaw and Chris Cote, will remain largely similar, but will be led this time by new editor-in-chief Chung Sae-yong.
The magazine closed in 2014, due in part to the loss of a major funding partner and because the founders wanted time to concentrate on other projects.
Chung, who majored in sculpture, began his connection with the magazine in September 2013, when he applied to appear in it as an artist, and he began helping the magazine with administration the next year.
“Jess and Chris did a really good job in publishing the magazine, because in Korea there are not so many art magazines, and it’s free and they made it every month,” Chung said, pointing out that the Korean magazines also charged a cover price.
“Also it’s an English and Korean bilingual magazine, which is very important because a lot of art is focused in Seoul right now. So in Daegu, artists find it hard to globalize.
“They want to express themselves and show themselves in many places worldwide, but it is hard to do if they are in Daegu. Because the magazine is in English, it gives an opportunity to give them a worldwide showing.”
“When I heard about (Bracket’s closure) I wanted to continue it, because I live in the Daegu area and I am also an artist here and I really wanted to publish it, so I found a way to do it.”
He said he visited cultural centers and local government offices to raise funds for Bracket, eventually getting support from Daegu Cultural Center.
Cote and Hinshaw have been helping with the handover of the magazine, but neither will continue to manage it.
“(Chung) has been very excited about it getting started again and has worked very hard to keep it in line with what it was,” said Hinshaw. “Keeping the art scene alive and having the magazine be (free) is very important to him.
“He is an integral part in the art scene and (in) encouraging young artists to produce work and share it.”
Hinshaw will no longer be involved with the magazine as he has relocated to the U.S., while Cote is now focused on design, including a complete revamp of the magazine’s layout and branding.
“I think this layout works better as it is inventive and more modern ― similar to a lot of the artists we feature in the magazine,” said Cote.
“One big change is that Sae-yong running the magazine just makes more sense. He can speak Korean, so things like managing advertisers is a breeze. Another change is that artists featured in the magazine will have more pages to show their work than before.”
The magazine also now has an ISSN number, meaning it is officially recognized and categorized as a publication by the Korean Library Association.
But the magazine will now come out four times a year, rather than the previous 10. However, Chung said that new funding would allow the magazine to increase its print run of 10,000 copies by around 1,000.
He also plans to continue the annual (b)-list group exhibition of work by the magazine’s contributors with a show in October.
“I would like to thank Jess and Chris,” he said. “When we made Bracket we sent it to Busan, Daejeon, Gwangju and Seoul. If Jess and Chris didn’t do it, we wouldn’t have this kind of magazine.”
For more information about the magazine, visit www.bracketmagazinekorea.com
By Paul Kerry (firstname.lastname@example.org)