[Well-curated weekend] Feast your eyes on the art around town


Commemorating the first Frieze Seoul and Kiaf Seoul which begin on Friday, the capital is in a festive mood with a flood of artistic events such as exhibitions, artist talks and parties until late at night. September 1-11 has been designated as Art Week, calling it “Dive into Korean Art”, coinciding with Frieze and Kiaf Seoul.

Two art hubs in Seoul, the Samcheong and Hannam neighborhoods in northern Seoul, are must-visits this weekend if you’re an art fan. Of course, there is also the Samseong-dong area in southern Seoul where Frieze and Kiaf Seoul take place. Here are some galleries and museums that The Korea Herald recommends you visit, among many others.

An installation view of

An installation view of “Cloud Walkers” at the Leeum Museum of Art (Leeum Museum of Art)

Hannam-dong area

You can start at the Leeum Museum of Art, the country’s largest private museum, where you can see six new exhibits from Friday. Among the shows is ‘Cloud Walkers’, the museum’s first special exhibition which focuses on contemporary art by Asian artists by presenting 45 works by 24 artists or collectives. If you are interested in moon jars – Korea’s traditional white porcelain jars – the special exhibition “Moon Jars: Park Young-sook and Craft Now” is a good opportunity to learn how traditional white porcelain can be reinterpreted. today through 29 moon pots by a ceramist Parc Young-sook.

“Bodyscape 76-1-variation” by Lee Kun-yong (Pace Gallery)

Pace Gallery is just a three-minute walk from the Leeum Museum of Art. The world-renowned gallery expanded its space in Hannam-dong last year and has just opened O’sulloc Tea House in its arts complex in collaboration with local tea brand, O’sulloc. It offers locally produced teas and Korean tea-based cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Works by Japanese sculptor Kohei Nawa and Korean artist Lee Kun-yong are on display. Don’t miss the “teamlab: Massless Suns” exhibition at the gallery as well.

An installation view of

An installation view of “DNA: Study/(Visual:Ear)” at Lehmann Maupin in Seoul (Leeum Museum of Art)

If you walk up Itaewon-ro, you’ll find Lehmann Maupin, featuring the “DNA: Study/(Visual:Ear)” exhibit by Chicago-based artist McArthur Binion who has created music-intensive works. labor, combining collage, drawing and paintings. Binion’s intricate works are intensely personal and deeply dedicated to the rigorous process of making a painting. On the way to the gallery – if you’re observant – you notice a specially commissioned installation outside the Hyundai Card Music Library created by Alex Prager, a Los Angeles-based photographer whom the gallery represents.

“Wer jetzt kein Haus hat baut sich keines mehr” by Anselm Kiefer (Thaddaeus Ropac Seoul)

“Wer jetzt kein Haus hat baut sich keines mehr” by Anselm Kiefer (Thaddaeus Ropac Seoul)

Through Hannam-daero, Thaddaeus Ropac Seoul invites visitors to see a new series of works by German artist Anselm Kiefer who exhibited floor-to-ceiling paintings at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, Italy, coinciding with the 59th Biennale of Venice in progress. The exhibition in Seoul, “Wer jetzt kein Haus hat (He who has no home now)”, shows Kiefer’s works inspired by poems by Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke, dedicated to the autumn season. The paintings feature dark tree silhouettes and falling leaves in rich autumnal browns. Next to Thaddaeus Ropac Seoul is Gallery Baton where Korean artist Song Burn-soo’s “Know Yourself” exhibition features works by the artist who has dedicated more than half a century to discovering the unique identity of Korean contemporary art.

Samcheong-dong area

The cozy area near Gyeongbokgung Palace has long been a popular art district. There are plenty of traditional teahouses and Korean cuisine restaurants where you can fill your stomach while strolling around the neighborhood.

The first destination is the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Korea, which presents the “MMCA Lee Kun-hee Collection: Lee Jung Seop” and “Hito Steyerl – A Sea of ​​Data” at the museum’s premises in Seoul. In the museum’s Deoksugung Hall, a five-minute drive from the Seoul Hall, the “Moon Shin Retrospective: Towards the Universe” exhibition is on-going.

“Nucleus PM-76” by Lee Seung-jio (Kukje Gallery)

Kukje Gallery, one of the country’s leading galleries, is hosting the late Lee Seung-jio’s exhibition featuring his “Nucleus” series. At first glance, the pieces may look like drawings made with computer graphics, but they are actually oil paintings on canvas. Lee was one of the major artists in the “Origin” group that spearheaded the geometric abstraction movement in 1960s Korea. Thirty optical illusion works will provide an opportunity to revisit his visual language.

“To Build a Fire” by Moon Kyung-won and Jeon Joon-ho (Art Sonje Center)

If you walk up the road between MMCA and Kukje Gallery, you will see Art Sonje Center on your right. Two exhibitions of contemporary art at the art center broaden the meaning of art. The “Seoul Weather Station” exhibit by Moon Kyung-won and Jeon Joon-ho takes place on the second and third floors. A robot named ‘Spot’ will guide you through the exhibition of a temporary ‘weather observatory’, designed to research the social role of art in times of climate crisis.

Another exhibition, “Songs for Dying/Songs for Living” by Korakrit Arunanondchai, is on display in the center’s art room. The Thai artist reverses the role of the audience and the stage, installing his works in the seats rather than on the stage. Reservations must be made to visit both exhibits.

A still image of

A still from Cha Jae-min’s “Nameless Syndrome” (Courtesy of the artist)

Frieze Film, a side program of Frieze Seoul, is open to the public from August 31 to September 7 at Magjib and Together Together, organized by two non-profit groups, Los Angeles-based Gyopo and Seoul-based Wess. The lineup titled “I Am My Own Other” will feature the works of 10 local and diaspora Korean media artists across two venues. Artists include Cha Jea-min, Chang Seo-young, and Nikki S. Lee.

Samseongdong District

If you want to experience the booming large-scale art market in Seoul, visit Coex. Frieze Seoul and Kiaf Seoul bring together more than 350 galleries from around the world, and you’ll find works by world-renowned artists here. The joint ticket allows access to both art fairs.

Just opposite the Coex, My Art Museum presents the exhibition “Joan Miro: Women, Birds, Stars” which presents more than 70 works from the collection of the Fundacio Joan Miro, a museum created by the artist in 1975.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com),
Hwang Dong-hee (hwangdh@heraldcorp.com)


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