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Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber Ocula Report Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber 15 Mar 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...

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Diana Campbell Betancourt Ocula Conversation Diana Campbell Betancourt

Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...

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Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art Ocula Report Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Mar 2019 : Mike Pinnington for Ocula

China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...

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Haegue Yang

b. 1971, South Korea

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.

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
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Featured Artworks

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The Intermediate – Narrating Sea Squirt Alienage by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork Haegue YangThe Intermediate – Narrating Sea Squirt Alienage, 2016 Artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, diorama figures, tassels, artificial plants, passive components, casters
194 x 70 x 80 cm
Galerie Chantal Crousel
Sonic Rampant Obscure Turbine Vents, Double Decker – Bushy Feet by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork Haegue YangSonic Rampant Obscure Turbine Vents, Double Decker – Bushy Feet, 2018 Powder-coated steel stand, powder-coated metal grid, casters, brass plated bells, metal rings, turbine vents, plastic twine
167 x 118 x 118 cm
Galerie Chantal Crousel
The Intermediate—Ringed Extravaganza Shield by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork Haegue YangThe Intermediate—Ringed Extravaganza Shield, 2018 Powder-coated stainless steel frame, powder-coated metal grid, plastic twine, bells
210 x 117 x 67 cm
Kukje Gallery
The Intermediate—Frosty Walking 
Compartmented Container by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork Haegue YangThe Intermediate—Frosty Walking Compartmented Container, 2018 Powder-coated stainless steel frame, powder-coated metal grid, plastic twine, bells
141 x 108 x 105 cm
Kukje Gallery
The Intermediate—Adorned Frosty Shield by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork Haegue YangThe Intermediate—Adorned Frosty Shield, 2018 Powder-coated stainless steel frame, powder-coated metal grid, plastic twine
205 x 140 x 58 cm
Kukje Gallery
Hardware Store Collage – Y-Mag Hair Dryers, In-Ear Headphones and Selfie Sticks #1 by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork Haegue YangHardware Store Collage – Y-Mag Hair Dryers, In-Ear Headphones and Selfie Sticks #1, 2018 Clippings from electronics market catalogues on chromolux paper, mounted on alu-dibond, framed
36.2 x 51.2 cm
Kukje Gallery
Roll Cosies - Toilet Tissue Jumbo Rolls by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork Haegue YangRoll Cosies - Toilet Tissue Jumbo Rolls, 2011 Wrapped objects with knittings, 6 elements
Galerie Chantal Crousel
Sonic Clotheshorse – Dressage #1 by Haegue Yang contemporary artwork Haegue YangSonic Clotheshorse – Dressage #1, 2018 Powder-coated aluminum stand, powder-coated metal grid, casters, brass and nickel plated bells, metal rings
153 x 57 x 74 cm
Kukje Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Looks Good on Paper at STPI, Singapore
Closed
19 November–23 December 2016 Group Exhibition Looks Good on Paper STPI, Singapore
Contemporary art exhibition, Haegue Yang, Honesty Printed on Modesty at STPI, Singapore
Closed
24 October–23 November 2013 Haegue Yang Honesty Printed on Modesty STPI, Singapore

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

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Liverpool Biennial 2018: How to Make a Beautiful World Ocula Report Liverpool Biennial 2018: How to Make a Beautiful World 23 Aug 2018 : Eleanor Wiseman for Ocula

The Liverpool Biennial, which opened 14 July and runs to 28 October, is celebrating its tenth edition with a question. The show's title, Beautiful world, where are you?, comes from Friedrich Schiller's poetic work invoking the Greek gods, Die Götter Griechenlands, or The Gods of Greece. Written in 1788, Schiller's text was set to music by Franz...

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City Report: Berlin Ocula Report City Report: Berlin 7 November 2017

Berlin-based Ocula contributor Rachael Vance selects her top five institutional shows currently on display in Germany's capital.KW Institute for Contemporary Art Willem de Rooij, Whiteout 14 September–17 December 2017 Eric Bell & Kristoffer Frick, Compound 13 September–17 December 2017Known for his films, photography, sound-recordings and...

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Haegue Yang Ocula Conversation Haegue Yang Artist, South Korea

For Haegue Yang, 2015 was a rather hectic year. Along with participating in major art events, such as the Biennale de Lyon, the Sharjah Biennial and the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Yang has also put together four solo shows around the world; including two extensive institutional exhibitions in Asia at the Ullens Center for...

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Aaron Seeto Ocula Conversation Aaron Seeto Curatorial Manager of Asian and Pacific Art, QAGOMA

This month the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) in Brisbane, Australia, plays host to the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8). Renowned as a platform for surveying the vast geographic expanse of Asian and Pacific contemporary art, the triennial continues to uphold a long-term commitment to the region....

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In Related Press

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Tate Will Give Five Women Major Solo Exhibitions in the Next Two Years Related Press Tate Will Give Five Women Major Solo Exhibitions in the Next Two Years Hyperallergic : 4 March 2019

Tate has revealed that five large-scale solo exhibitions for women artists are currently in development, all of which will open during the 2020–2021 season. The announcement comes perfectly-timed for the beginning of Women's History Month and the launched of the #5WomenArtists campaign by Washington DC's National Museum of Women in the Arts.

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Haegue Yang Waxes Poetic About Her Exhibition with Fondazione Furla Related Press Haegue Yang Waxes Poetic About Her Exhibition with Fondazione Furla Forbes : 10 September 2018

Last Friday, Fondazione Furla unveiled Tightrope Walking and Its Wordless Shadow, a new exhibition by Korean artist Haegue Yang at the La Triennale di Milano, one of the biggest design museums in Milan.Created in 2008 by Furla, the Milan-based accessories manufacturer, Fondazione Furla is meant to showcase the company's relation with the art...

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Haegue Yang’s “Quasi-ESP” Related Press Haegue Yang’s “Quasi-ESP” art agenda : 1 December 2017

Not having a story to tell from the beginning or possibly starting from the middle is how Taoism describes time: continuity without a starting point. Stories abbreviate and expand in "intensiveness," a term Haegue Yang uses, in dialogue with Jimmie Durham, to describe a mode that, similarly to belief, can exist beyond linear narrative...

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Haegue Yang wins 2018 Wolfgang Hahn Prize Related Press Haegue Yang wins 2018 Wolfgang Hahn Prize ArtAsiaPacific : 5 September 2017

Seoul-born, Berlin-based artist Haegue Yang has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Wolfgang Hahn Prize by the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst (Society for Modern Art) at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany. She is the second Asian artist to be bestowed the prize, following Huang Yong Ping in 2016. Since 1994, the award has been presented to...

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