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Contemporary Art Exhibitions in Seoul


The heat of the KIAF and Frieze Seoul 2023, which heralded the arrival of autumn in Seoul, has been on with solo exhibitions of top Korean artists including Koo Jeong A, Yang Haegue, Lee Bul, and Jung Yeondoo held in the central city.

Installation View, Haegue Yang: Latent Dwelling, Kukje Gallery, Seoul, 2023
Photo by ARTNSTORY Communication

The presentation entitled Latent Dwelling by Yang Haegue (b.1971) was held from Aug. 30 to Oct. 8, 2023 at Kukje Gallery’s Hanok, a traditional Korean house. Featuring the artist’s site-specific installations and two-dimensional works, the exhibition evoked its surreal and mysterious atmosphere from the harmonious combination of the unique vibes of the traditional space and her artworks.

Installation View, Koo Jeong A: Levitation, PKM  Gallery, Seoul, 2023
©PKM Gallery

South Korea’s representative for the 60th Venice Biennale, which takes place on April 20, 2024, Koo Jeong A (b.1967) had her solo exhibition Levitation at PKM Gallery from Sep. 6 to Oct. 14, 2023. Showcasing a selection of 30 latest works by Koo, the exhibition had raised anticipation about her next path in the international art scene.  

Installation View, LEE BUL, BB&M Gallery, Seoul, 2023
Photo by ARTNSTORY Communication

At BB&M, from Aug. 36 to Oct. 14, Lee Bul (b.1964)’s solo exhibition presented a giant silver balloon installation and the latest paintings created with mother-of-pearl inlaid amid layers of acrylic paint. The show shed light on the artist's three-dimensional and two-dimensional works inspired by high-tech civilizations often leading to dystopia that she has been exploring for a long time.

Installation View, MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2023: Jung Yeondoo - One Hundred Years of Travels, MMCA, Seoul, 2023
Photo by ARTNSTORY Communicatio

In particular, MMCA Hyundai Motor Series exhibition, which was opened in time for the art fair season, is currently on view at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Jung Yeondoo is the selected artist for its 10th year in 2023. Adopting historical incidents and the stories of ordinary people as his subject matter, Jung has presented artistic work that raises questions about the relationships between reality and fiction, truth and illusion, individuals and society, and memories and representation. He has implemented a method of reconstructing grand narratives of war, disaster, migration, and ideology by means of personal narratives, mythology, and folktales. The narrative that Jung focuses on in this exhibition is the Korean diaspora to Mexico in the early 20th century. The artist delivers the stories of the migration over a century ago by Koreans who left their country for an ocean journey lasting over 40 days before arriving in Merida, the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatan, through video, installation, and sound art.

Installation View, MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2023: Jung Yeondoo - One Hundred Years of Travels, MMCA, Seoul, 2023
Photo by ARTNSTORY Communicatio

One Hundred Years of Travels bearing the same title of the exhibition is a 48 minutes four-channel video installation directed by the artist himself. The artist orchestrated this original work, which unfolds across the three-channel video showcasing performances of Korean pansori, Japanese gidayu bunraku, and Mexican mariachi music. Together, these performances trace the journey of Korean migrants who departed in 1905 and reached Mexico based on the work Memorias (1973) by Byeongdeok Choi, and convey the tumultuous life story of second-generation immigrant Maria Victoria Lee Garcia, an immigrant recruitment advertisement in the Hwangsung Daily Newspaper, and My Way (1912), a poem by Mexico-based independence activist Young-joo Huang Poo. Link a kind of stage play where text and image, visual and musical elements are mixed, One Hundred Years of Travels transcends the winding journey of migration revolved around death and loss. It delves into the mixed world of diaspora, discontinuous identity, as well as exotic sounds and smell.


The exhibition will be on view until 25 February, 2024.

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