Where in the World Is NuMu?

September 11, 2017

Guatemala’s first and only contemporary art museum—also the world’s smallest—is on the move! Thanks to our international Kickstarter community of 492 backers, Nuevo Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (NuMu) is on its way from Guatemala City to Los Angeles, where it will be open to the public on LACMA’s campus as part of the exhibition A Universal History of Infamy. At LACMA, NuMu will present two exhibitions, featuring works by Joaquín Orellana and Regina José Galindo, along with a full schedule of public programs.  

Over the past month, Jessica Kairé and Stefan Benchoam, the artists behind NuMu, have been busy getting ready. A full-scale replica of NuMu has been constructed, Joaquín Orellana’s works are installed, and they have now hit the road!

We’ll bring you updates of NuMu’s 3,000-mile trip to L.A. and share how NuMu is bringing contemporary art and public programs to communities along the way. Follow and share with #NuMu2LACMA and check back in often!

NuMu’s journey to LACMA is powered by


Updated on Monday, September 11

It's here!!

Yesterday, NuMu stopped at the Saguaro National Park in Arizona in the morning. 

Jessica and Stefan were inspired by the cacti.

They crossed into California! (Selfie by driver extraordinaire Jose Jorge)

The egg saw lots of interesting sights along the way.

Then the caravan arrived at Ruberta Gallery in Glendale!

They couldn't have asked for a better welcome. 

Many thanks to Ruberta Gallery and The Pit Gallery for their hospitality!

Early this morning, the egg embarked on the last leg of its journey. 

Turning onto Wilshire!

Getting closer...

We're ready!

Here they come...

They're here!

A quick break, then it's time to get the egg installed!

How does the egg look bigger than the rock?

Making final adjustments...

NuMu will be open to the public later this week. Follow @lacma on Twitter to be the first to know when it hatches! When it does, come by and check it out in person, along with all the great PST:LA/LA shows on view right now. #NuMu2LACMA


Updated on Sunday, September 10

Marfa has been eggs-tremely welcoming to our favorite ovoid structure! After a fun night at the Lost Horse, the egg hung out with some lovely folks at Ballroom Marfa.

The artists provided crayons, markers, and stickers for participants to create unique designs on egg-themed postcards.

Before leaving town, the egg wanted to do one last thing...after all, what visit to Marfa is complete without the requisite selfie at Prada Marfa?

Then it got back on the road toward Arizona.

Jessica and Stefan are heading into Los Angeles today. In the evening, the egg will be open to welcome visitors at Ruberta gallery in Glendale (918 Ruberta Avenue). The egg is aiming to be there around 5 pm; wish it luck as it navigates L.A. traffic!

Follow @lacma on Twitter for updates; we'll be live-tweeting the last leg of the egg's journey! #NuMu2LACMA


Updated on Saturday, September 9

The egg has traveled nearly 900 kilometers (600 miles), passing through Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo in Mexico and Laredo in Texas.

Here, they cross the Río Grande!

They made it to Marfa and opened the egg up in front of the Lost Horse. Jessica and Stefan gave tours to locals, who were excited to learn more about NuMu.

Stefan is telling folks all about NuMu and Joaquín Orellana!

The egg is hanging out in Marfa, but you might be wondering: what's going on with NuMu in Guatemala City?

It's continuing to present exhibitions, of course. Right now there is an exhibition by Carolina Caycedo (pictured above), Conjuro de la locura (Spell of Madness).

In her first solo museum show, Caycedo seeks to create a portal to unite two separate and apparently dissimilar worlds: the artistic and one of social resistance. The exhibition looks to open up a debate about the current mining model in Guatemala and is part of a more extensive body of work that Caycedo has been developing since 2014, titled BE DAMMED, which investigates the effects that large dams have on natural and social landscapes of many bioregions located on the American continent.

Although Los Angeles is a new city for NuMu, there will be some familiar art at LACMA to welcome it. 

Caycedo's Serpent River Book/Libro Rio Serpiente (2017) and To Stop Being a Threat and Become a Promise/Dejar de ser una amenaza para convertirse en una promesa (2017) are on view in A Universal History of Infamy. These works are also part of BE DAMMED and are on view in BCAM through February 19, 2017.

Don't miss the chance to see these works and more in A Universal History of Infamy!


Updated on Friday, September 8

Our hearts go out to those affected by the massive earthquake that hit the coast of Mexico last night. 

While the egg has made it across the Mexico-U.S. border and is continuing to truck along, we'll resume NuMu updates tomorrow. #FuerzaMéxico


Updated on Thursday, September 7

After a successful day, Jessica and Stefan packed up the egg and got back on the road. 

They said goodbye to their Museo Jumex friends, who were instrumental in helping NuMu open its doors in Mexico City.

And off they go!

The egg always takes precautions.

A view from the egg...of Jessica and Stefan.

After driving over 900 kilometers (nearly 600 miles!), the egg needs to take a short nap...

Follow along: #NuMu2LACMA


Updated on Wednesday, September 6

It's a new day! Can you spot the egg?

Yesterday, NuMu made its debut in Mexico City. People from all walks of life, from school groups to people on lunch break to moms with strollers, came by to engage with the egg and the artists.

Photo courtesy Museo Jumex

Ready for visitors!

For each NuMu exhibition, a custom flag is created for the top. This is the flag for the Orellana show, with symbols depicting one of his instruments, the IMBALUNA.

Here, Stefan demonstrates the SONARIMBA, the first instrument designed by Orellana.

What's in an egg? Here's a sneak peek of the Orellana exhibition!

Here's a close-up of the SONARIMBA.

Visitors try out the SONARIMBA in the egg.

The exhibition comprises instruments, drawings, and notations.

Here's a page from Orellana's compositions with symbols he designed for his instruments.

An image of the maestro himself.

This egg is a crowd-pleaser!

And a dear NuMu friend, artist Pia Camil, stopped by!

Pia is no stranger to NuMu's ethos.

Photo courtesy Pia Camil

In fact, her exhibition Divisor Pirata was on view at NuMu last year! Camil's work questions the relationship between the individual and the collective, and invited the local public to think of themselves as individuals in relation to the collective, and as Latin Americans in relation to the U.S. and the rest of the world.

By the time the egg closed, more than 150 people had engaged with the artists and the egg. Were you there to see the egg in action? Share your photos and tell us about your experience! #NuMu2LACMA


Updated on Tuesday, September 5

NuMu had an action-packed Labor Day weekend. We're happy to report that the egg has left the coop! First things first: Jessica and Stefan went to pick up the replica of the egg-shaped museum.

Stefan and Jessica head off to the fabricator, located in Retalhuleu, in southwestern Guatemala. The fabricator, Erick, is an architect who designs and builds resorts and waterparks.

Were you wondering how the replica was made?

No...and this is a rooster, not a hen.

First, a frame...

Then the mold, which was used to cast the final fiberglass building.

All final details, such as the windows, were added or carved onto the final structure.

Thank you to the mighty team that helped bring the replica to life!

No, you're not seeing double. The newly hatched egg had to make a stop in Guatemala City, to bid its mama (the original NuMu) farewell—it was a long goodbye. In order to be ready and open to the public at LACMA in mid-September, the egg is taking a more direct route. As promised, NuMu will be stopping and engaging with communities along the way; keep checking back for more.

While the eggs said their goodbyes, Jessica and Stefan installed Joaquín Orellana's installation, Paisaje Sonoro.

Krissi, NuMu's friend and the proprietor of Le-Kafe de Benjamin (across the street from NuMu), made sangria and snacks for family and friends to send the baby egg off in style. (Krissi is in blue in the center.)

And...they're off! Heading toward the Guatemala-Mexico border.

What does an egg do in a heavy downpour? It pulls over and lets a truck pass.

After many hours of driving, the artists arrived in Veracruz.

Here, the artists are riding along with the egg to find a spot to open its doors.

In Veracruz, the artists began to invite people into the egg, but alas, storm clouds arrived! Jessica and Stefan closed up once it started pouring and decided to continue driving.

The egg has landed. In Mexico City, that is.

It was wheeled in from the street to the plaza between Museo Jumex and Museo Soumaya.

The egg is currently at Museo Jumex until 8 pm local time. Stop by and check it out!