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b. 1966, South Korea

Kyungah Ham Biography

Kyungah Ham works across installation, video, performance and traditional media. The legacy of war is a recurring motif in Kyungah Ham's art, in particular the division of the Korean peninsula and related government propaganda. Ham's paintings and sculptures often conceal political messages, which may initially be eclipsed by the colourful and luscious style in which they are rendered. Ham enacts a dialogue that extends across the barriers of ideology and physical distance that mark South Korea relations with its northern neighbour. Ham's work reflects both historical and contemporary episodes of conflict, and construct a strange and compelling mixture of propaganda, social activism, and personal memory.

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Kyungah Ham was born in Seoul in 1966. Her work has been exhibited in solo shows including Room with a View, Gallery Loop, Seoul (1999), Such Games, Ssamzie Space, Seoul (2008), and Desire and Anesthesia, Artsonje Center, Seoul (2009). She has participated in selected group shows held at: British Museum, London (2005), Musee Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2010), Stiftung Ludwig Wein, Vienna (2010), National Museum of Moder and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea (travelled to Kunstmuseum Bonn, 2013), and Kunsthalle Dusseldorf (2014). She also participated in the 9th Guangdong Triennial (2012) and 7th Liverpool Biennial (2012).

Kyungah Ham Featured Artworks

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Abstract Weave / Morris Louis Delta Kappa 1960 SS02 by Kyungah Ham contemporary artwork
Kyungah HamAbstract Weave / Morris Louis Delta Kappa 1960 SS02, 2019Machine embroidery on cotton, collected internet world news, tassel, wooden frame
112 x 150 cm
Kukje Gallery Contact Gallery
Trental fluttering its wings gracefully, Detail From SMS Series 03 by Kyungah Ham contemporary artwork
Kyungah HamTrental fluttering its wings gracefully, Detail From SMS Series 03, 2017–2018North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, smuggling, secret code, censorship, confiscation, bribe, anxiety, ideology, wooden frame
43 x 65 cm
Kukje Gallery Contact Gallery
Floating Mysterious Nicergoline, Detail From SMS Series 02 by Kyungah Ham contemporary artwork
Kyungah HamFloating Mysterious Nicergoline, Detail From SMS Series 02, 2017–2018North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, smuggling, secret code, censorship, confiscation, bribe, anxiety, ideology, wooden frame
56 x 76 cm
Kukje Gallery Contact Gallery
What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities DSK 01- D-01 by Kyungah Ham contemporary artwork
Kyungah HamWhat you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities DSK 01- D-01, 2016-2017North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, smuggling, censorship, confiscation, bribe, anxiety, Ideology, wooden frame
92 x 87 cm
Kukje Gallery Contact Gallery
85. Imaginary Forms and Vitamin C, Detail From SMS Series 04 by Kyungah Ham contemporary artwork
Kyungah Ham85. Imaginary Forms and Vitamin C, Detail From SMS Series 04, 2017-2018North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, smuggling, secret code, censorship, confiscation, bribe, anxiety, ideology, wooden frame
46 x 62 cm
Kukje Gallery Contact Gallery
Abstract Weave / Morris Louis Delta Kappa 1960 SS02 by Kyungah Ham contemporary artwork
Kyungah HamAbstract Weave / Morris Louis Delta Kappa 1960 SS02, 2019Machine embroidery on cotton, collected internet world news, tassel, wooden frame
112 x 150 cm
Kukje Gallery Contact Gallery
What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities SK 04-02 by Kyungah Ham contemporary artwork
Kyungah HamWhat you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities SK 04-02, 2017–2018North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, smuggling, bribe, tension, anxiety, censorship, ideology, wooden frame, approx. 2000hrs/1person
195 x 142 cm
Kukje Gallery Contact Gallery
What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities DSR04-D-02 by Kyungah Ham contemporary artwork
Kyungah HamWhat you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities DSR04-D-02, 2015North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, anxiety, censorship, ideology, wooden frame, approx. 2100hrs/ 1 person
87 x 126 cm
Tina Kim Gallery Contact Gallery

Kyungah Ham Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, kukje ON at Kukje Gallery, Seoul
Closed
22 April–31 May 2020 Group Exhibition kukje ON Kukje GalleryOnline Only
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS at Artspace Sydney, Sydney
Closed
18 May–4 August 2019 Group Exhibition 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS Artspace SydneySydney
Contemporary art exhibition, Kyungah Ham, Phantom Footsteps at Kukje Gallery, Seoul
Closed
4 June–5 July 2015 Kyungah Ham Phantom Footsteps Kukje GallerySeoul

Kyungah Ham Represented By

Kukje Gallery contemporary art gallery in Seoul, South Korea Kukje Gallery Busan, Seoul

Kyungah Ham In Ocula Magazine

Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide By Sherry Paik, Seoul

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese...

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Kyungah Ham Ocula Conversation Kyungah Ham By Diana d'Arenberg, Hong Kong

‘You don’t have to paint a fist to challenge authority; it is only natural that the mode of fighting was to devote oneself to the abstract, to deny the unreal reality.’ – Lee Ufan At first glance, Kyungah Ham ’s embroidered canvases are beautifully seductive. From afar the works seem to be brightly...

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Kyungah Ham In Related Press

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The South Korean Artist Who Smuggles Internet Culture Across The DMZ Related Press The South Korean Artist Who Smuggles Internet Culture Across The DMZ 17 March 2017, Fast Company

Since 2008, Korean artist Kyungah Ham has worked on a series of massive embroidery pieces with collaborators she's never met. Ham, born in 1966, works with intermediaries to smuggle her designs from South Korea to the communist North, where artisans painstakingly bring her ideas to life, stitching words (in English and Korean), shapes, and colors...

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Kyungah Ham's restless pursuit of novelty Related Press Kyungah Ham's restless pursuit of novelty 5 October 2016, The Korea Times

Artist Kyungah Ham's colorful image grabs the eyes of visitors to the 10th Taipei Biennial held at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan. At first glance, they just look like bright-colored abstract patterns, but when examined closely, the canvas is jam-packed with woven stitches in various colors, constituting an elaborate embroidery design....

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Expanding the scope of art at MMCA, Seoul Related Press Expanding the scope of art at MMCA, Seoul 15 September 2016, The Korea Times

There has been an age-long controversy over whether art can be graded and rated, but prestigious art awards across the globe hint at what is going on in contemporary art and what artists are doing. In Korea, the Korea Artist Prize (KAP), currently ongoing at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) Seoul, plays this role. This...

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Korea Artist Prize exhibition presents the four finalists at MMCA, Seoul Related Press Korea Artist Prize exhibition presents the four finalists at MMCA, Seoul 13 September 2016, Blouin Artinfo

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul, in cooperation with the SBS Culture Foundation, has recently launched the Korea Artist Prize 2016 exhibition, which will run until January 15, 2017. MMCA’s flagship exhibition is showcasing the four finalists of the Prize, namely Kim Eull, Back Seung Woo, Ham Kyungah...

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Kyungah Ham In Video & Audio

Ham Kyungah / 2016 Korea Artist Prize Related Video & Audio Ham Kyungah / 2016 Korea Artist Prize 27 August 2016, Korea Artist Prize

Ham Kyung-Ah (b. 1966) is an artist who tenaciously delves into the crevice of contradiction and irrationality while challenging the rules and taboos of the system hidden within the solid shell of reality. Her work occasionally initiates from spontaneous ideas and later completed with long-term time, labor and cost. Ham blindly follows people in...

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