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b. 1971, South Korea

Haegue Yang Biography

Haegue Yang is an artist known for her subtle use of mundane objects within sensory installations. Yang graduated with a BFA from Seoul National University, then attended Städelschule Frankfurt am Main, Germany, receiving an MFA in 1999. Today, she lives and works in Seoul and Berlin.

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Yang’s work often incorporates ordinary items such as lightbulbs, clothing racks, industrial fans and blinds. Of these objects, venetian blinds have become a key part of her most recognised works. Yang first used venetian blinds in 2006 to capture her now longstanding interest in kinetic sculpture. Suspended from the ceiling or arranged in a structure, the blinds usually invite the viewer to navigate through them. Inside the installation, the viewer becomes aware of the play between light and shadow while fans create further motion, heightening the smell and humidity in the air. Objects quotidian in nature mediate the senses, prompting the onlooker to reimagine not only the objects’ function but also the space they create.

An international artist who has spent most of her adulthood outside her homeland, Yang shows particular interests in migration and diaspora, drawing inspiration from various cultures for her work. Instead of considering one culture at a time, however, she makes multiple cultural references in one work. The way she shapes her work resembles the manner of migration; it is as though the sculpture travels and serves as a medium in which elements of different cultures converge. While these elements do not contradict each other, they are disparate—as unlike each other as a Native American medicine man figure and Igor Stravinsky’s ballet and orchestral work The Rite of Spring (1993). Yang merges differences into one entity—a hybrid that transcends time and place.

A common feature many of Yang’s works share is their iterations. Some are part of a single collection, such as Medicine Men (2010) and her ‘Sonic’ sculpture series (2013–ongoing). Others like Storage Piece (2004) and The Malady of Death (2008–ongoing) are reborn throughout the years. With The Malady of Death in particular, Yang demonstrates her versatility by venturing into the realm of performance and conducting a stage reading. Inspired by Marguerite Duras’ 1982 novella of the same name, the reading is as much a new experience for the viewer as it is for the artist herself. Each performance features a different reader and stage, and each iteration holds a different revelation about the novella.

On her philosophy as an artist, Yang explained in her 2014 conversation with Ocula Magazine that art should be an experience, though not necessarily understood. Hence, abstraction is the primary language in her works. However, this does not mean she deliberately creates enigmas. In fact, Yang seeks to invoke in her audience an experience of senses—feelings that may not be understood in words. She calls the process ‘empowerment’: first drawing the viewer into her work—be it an installation of venetian blinds or a collection of sculptures—then granting to the viewer autonomy to freely navigate and realise the space’s full potential.

Before Yang came to prominence internationally, she received recognition as the recipient of the 2005 Cremer Prize and the Baloise Prize in 2007. Her breakthrough was in 2009 when she represented South Korea at the 53rd Venice Biennale, where she was also the first female artist to represent the country. Since then, her works have been exhibited internationally, including dOCUMENTA 13 (2012), the 8th Gwangju Biennale (2010) and the 9th Taipei Biennial (2014). Yang has also been shown in solo and group exhibitions at institutions such as Haus der Kunst, Munich (2012–13) and Bergen Kunsthall (2013).

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2017

Haegue Yang Featured Artworks

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The Intermediate – Unmanned Peacock Rocks by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork
Haegue YangThe Intermediate – Unmanned Peacock Rocks, 2017Artificial straw, powder-coated stainless steel frame, powder-coated mesh, feathers, artificial plants, dried durians, bushy yate buds, banksia cone
95 x 111 x 31 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Sonic Sphere – Diagonally-ornamented Copper and Nickel by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork
Haegue YangSonic Sphere – Diagonally-ornamented Copper and Nickel, 2015Powder-coated steel stand, powder-coated metal grid, casters, copper and nickel plated bells, metal rings
99 x 82 x 83 cm
Galerie Chantal Crousel Contact Gallery
Sonic Obscuring Hairy Hug by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork
Haegue YangSonic Obscuring Hairy Hug, 2020Powder-coated stainless steel frame, powder-coated mesh, steel wire rope, black brass plated bells, metal rings, plastic twine, plastic raffia string
200 x 78 x 80 cm
Kukje Gallery Contact Gallery
Edibles – NTUC Finest, OH’ FARMS, Thyme, each 50 g by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork
Haegue YangEdibles – NTUC Finest, OH’ FARMS, Thyme, each 50 g, 2019Vegetable pressed on paper, framed
68.5 x 119 x 4.5 cm (incl frame)
STPI - Creative Workshop & Gallery Contact Gallery
Edibles Sextet – NTUC Finest, Freshmart Singapore, Perilla Leaves, each 50 g; Meidi-Ya, Unknown, Shiso, each 50 g by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork
Haegue YangEdibles Sextet – NTUC Finest, Freshmart Singapore, Perilla Leaves, each 50 g; Meidi-Ya, Unknown, Shiso, each 50 g, 2019Vegetable pressed on paper, framed
124 x 174 x 4.5 cm (incl frame)
STPI - Creative Workshop & Gallery Contact Gallery
Cup Cosies, 2011 (For Parkett 89) by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork
Haegue YangCup Cosies, 2011 (For Parkett 89), 2011Knitting yarn in varying colours and patterns, each unique, 100 plastic cups
Parkett Contact Gallery
The Intermediate—Adorned Frosty by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork
Haegue YangThe Intermediate—Adorned Frosty, 2018Powder-coated stainless steel frame, powder-coated metal grid, plastic twine

Not for sale
Para Site
Non-Foldings – Cosmic Explosion #5 by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork
Haegue YangNon-Foldings – Cosmic Explosion #5, 2017Stencil, black and white paper, spray paint
123 x 87.5 cm
Not for sale
Duddell's

Haegue Yang Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, DEMAIN EST LA QUESTION at Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris
Closed
27 June–25 July 2020 Group Exhibition DEMAIN EST LA QUESTION Galerie Chantal CrouselParis
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Basel & Paris at Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris
Closed
13–26 June 2020 Group Exhibition Basel & Paris Galerie Chantal CrouselParis
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, kukje ON at Kukje Gallery, Online Only, Seoul
Closed
22 April–31 May 2020 Group Exhibition kukje ON Kukje GalleryOnline Only

Haegue Yang Represented By

Haegue Yang In Ocula Magazine

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NTU Auctioning Works by Entang Wiharso, Heman Chong and More Ocula News NTU Auctioning Works by Entang Wiharso, Heman Chong and More Singapore, 19 August 2020

The online auction aims to raise funds for the struggling art centre, which is ending its exhibition and residency programmes.

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Paris Gallery Weekend: Exhibitions to See Ocula Feature Paris Gallery Weekend: Exhibitions to See By Tessa Moldan, Paris

Ocula presents a selection of exhibitions to catch during the 7th edition of Paris Gallery Weekend.

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Armory Week Lowdown: Art Shows to See Ocula Feature Armory Week Lowdown: Art Shows to See By Casey Carsel, New York

The Armory Show returns with a flourishing programme, complemented by stand-out shows across Ne.

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MoMA Expansion: Once the Modern, Always the Modern Ocula Feature MoMA Expansion: Once the Modern, Always the Modern By Mohammad Salemy, New York

Mohammad Salemy reports on art historical and political redress within The Museum of ModernArt's permanent collection after the museum's recent expansion.

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Haegue Yang In Related Press

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A Multisensory Exquisite Corpse: Haegue Yang at Seoul’s Kukje Gallery Related Press A Multisensory Exquisite Corpse: Haegue Yang at Seoul’s Kukje Gallery 9 October 2019, Frieze

Eerily crackling through an old speaker, backing singers 'ba-pa-ba' to xylophones. A woman touts the coming of the millennium, her voice spinning giddily over thrumming guitars and squelching synths. Playing outside the entrance to Haegue Yang's solo show in Kukje Gallery's K3 exhibition space, Hae-kyung Min's 1982 track 'AD 2000' sounds like a...

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Haegue Yang embarks on a surreal multi-sensory space odyssey in Seoul Related Press Haegue Yang embarks on a surreal multi-sensory space odyssey in Seoul 12 September 2019, Wallpaper*

They say art is abstract. But wait until they see the works of Haegue Yang. Even this broad term doesn't fully encapsulate the creations of the Korean artist, who is taking abstractionism to a whole new level.

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Yang Hae-gue brings world of transformations, juxtapositions to Seoul Related Press Yang Hae-gue brings world of transformations, juxtapositions to Seoul 2 September 2019, The Korea Herald

Yang Hae-gue has turned a gallery space into a place full of ill-matched images. Colors on the walls both dazzle and confuse visitors. Sitting in the middle are sonic and mobile sculptures. Scented gym balls roll between movable versions of her signature venetian-blind sculptures. And shallow layers of artificial fog from the corners fill the...

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Haegue Yang: Tracing Movement Related Press Haegue Yang: Tracing Movement 20 May 2019, The Brooklyn Rail

One difference between a diagram and a tracing is their relationship to abstraction. To diagram is to anticipate the production of something new, and a diagram's information can be read selectively. To trace is to attempt to capture the totality of a formation as something absent. Haegue Yang's exhibition Tracing Movement is marked by a tension...

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Haegue Yang In Video & Audio

Haegue Yang 'And Berlin Will Always Need You. Kunst, Handwerk und Konzept Made in Berlin' at Gropius Bau, Berlin, 2019 Related Video & Audio Haegue Yang 'And Berlin Will Always Need You. Kunst, Handwerk und Konzept Made in Berlin' at Gropius Bau, Berlin, 2019 1 April 2020, Barbara Wien

Haegue Yang (*1971 in Seoul, South Korea) interweaves political narratives with materiality and ornamentation, creating objects and installations that are conceptually multilayered and sensually immersive.

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