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Emi Eu: ‘We have to look at Southeast Asia as one market’ Ocula Conversation Emi Eu: ‘We have to look at Southeast Asia as one market’ Stephanie Bailey, Singapore

STPI's Emi Eu reflects on S.E.A. Focus, an STPI project platforming artists and galleries from Southeast Asia, in the wake of Art Stage's decline in 2019 and ahead of the launch of Singapore's new art fair, Art SG, in October 2020.

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New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata: Shows to See Ocula Report New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata: Shows to See Kanika Anand, New Delhi

With India Art Fair set to open amid nationwide protests, Kanika Anand introduces shows in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata that express shifting socio-political identities, modes of resistance, and explorations of place-making.

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Images from Abroad: Lada Nakonechna at Galerie EIGEN + ART Ocula Insight Images from Abroad: Lada Nakonechna at Galerie EIGEN + ART Phoebe Blatton, Berlin

Images from abroad , Lada Nakonechna's solo exhibition at Galerie EIGEN + ART in Berlin, considers the barriers that exist between depictions of conflict and their viewers.

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Seoul Art Guide

South Korea

Current Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Rose Wylie, Clothes I Wore at Choi&Lager Gallery, Seoul
17 January–18 February 2020 Rose Wylie Clothes I Wore Choi&Lager Gallery, Seoul
Contemporary art exhibition, Chen Yujun, Each Single Oneself 每个自己 at Arario Gallery, Seoul
9 January–22 February 2020 Chen Yujun Each Single Oneself 每个自己 Arario Gallery, Seoul | Samcheong
Contemporary art exhibition, Wael Shawky, Al Araba Al Madfuna at Barakat Contemporary, Seoul
29 November 2019–31 January 2020 Wael Shawky Al Araba Al Madfuna Barakat Contemporary, Seoul
Contemporary art exhibition, Adam Pendleton, These Elements of Me at Pace Gallery, Seoul
21 November 2019–1 February 2020 Adam Pendleton These Elements of Me Pace Gallery, Seoul
Contemporary art exhibition, Helen Pashgian, Helen Pashgian at Lehmann Maupin, Seoul
14 November 2019–29 February 2020 Helen Pashgian Lehmann Maupin, Seoul
Contemporary art exhibition, Erwin Wurm, Erwin Wurm at Lehmann Maupin, Seoul
20 February–10 April 2020 Erwin Wurm Lehmann Maupin, Seoul

Galleries In Seoul

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Institutions

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Ocula Magazine

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Hyungkoo Lee: Seriously Fake Science Ocula Conversation Hyungkoo Lee: Seriously Fake Science Sherry Paik, Seoul

Korean artist Hyungkoo Lee 's exhibitions evoke a scientist's lab or an archaeologist's workshop, often equipped with outlandish gadgets, skeletal or anatomical models in vitrines, or a desk with incomplete skulls, brushes, and notes. Yet his wearable devices, drawings, and sculptures hardly depict real-life subjects—they are chimeras borne...

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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 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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Nicholas Hlobo at Lehmann Maupin, Seoul Ocula Insight Nicholas Hlobo at Lehmann Maupin, Seoul Ocula IGTV

South African artist Nicholas Hlobo 's signature materials of rubber, ribbon, leather, and wood were all present in his first solo exhibition in Korea, held between 21 March and 18 May 2019 in Seoul . It comprised new and recent paintings along with a sculpture of copper piping titled Dyumpu (2019), each piece reflecting the artist's...

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Iván Navarro Ocula Conversation Iván Navarro Stephanie Bailey, Seoul

Iván Navarro needs no introduction once you know what his works look like: light boxes constructed using one-way mirrors to create an infinity room effect. These object illusions come in many forms, from a world map rendered in green and white lights that seem to collapse into a dark void ( Sediments , 2017); to a series of lightboxes formed...

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Lee Ufan Ocula Conversation Lee Ufan Katie Fallen, Hong Kong

Nowadays, Korean-born artist Lee Ufan needs little introduction. The combination of the opening of his own Tadao Ando-designed museum at the Benesse Art Site, Japan in 2010; his 2011 retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, New York; and his major show at the Château de Versailles in 2014, have all meant that in recent years Lee Ufan has...

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Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho Ocula Conversation Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho Ines Min, Seoul

Artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho established their styles and names individually, but create an undeniable synergy when paired together. The duo won the Korea Artist Prize at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, in 2012 and participated in dOCUMENTA the same year. Representing the Korean Pavilion in Venice this year,...

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Minsuk Cho Ocula Conversation Minsuk Cho Ines Min, Seoul

Minsuk Cho, principal architect at Mass Studies and commissioner of the Golden Lion-winning Korea Pavilion at last year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, just closed his first major exhibition at PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art. And while Before/After , a data-centric retrospective of the first dozen years of his firm via both realized and...

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Natalie King And Youngmi Park Ocula Conversation Natalie King And Youngmi Park Anna Dickie, Yeongwol

Now in its 13th edition, the Dong Gang International Photo Festival takes place in the city of Yeongwol, about 3 hours drive east of Seoul. Since 2009, guest curators from different countries have been invited to curate an exhibition for the Festival, including France, Germany, USA, Japan and UK. This year the invitation was extended to...

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The Shows to See in Seoul This Weekend Related Press The Shows to See in Seoul This Weekend 27 September 2019, Frieze

A woman pulls an archer's bow at a dot painting. The arrow hits a white dot. She removes it before covering the dot with a square of white tissue paper. An action work by Soungui Kim, Ten thousand ugly ink dots (1982), is captured on video in the artist's first major retrospective in Seoul's National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA).

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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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Elmgreen & Dragset's bar doesn't work (and that's the point) Related Press Elmgreen & Dragset's bar doesn't work (and that's the point) 2 April 2019, Phaidon News

There's a nice-looking bar at Elmgreen & Dragset's new show, Adaptations, at the Kukje Gallery in Seoul, South Korea. It's white, oval shaped, and is fitted with two bar taps, and looks pretty inviting ...

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Lo-Fi Art for the Internet Age Related Press Lo-Fi Art for the Internet Age 9 February 2019, Hyperallergic

SEOUL — Noh Sangho's solo exhibition, The Great Chapbook II , contains more than 1500 works. Hundreds of plastic ziplock bags containing Noh's watercolor drawings hang on 11 chrome garment racks affixed to the brick walls of Seoul's underground gallery, Arario Museum in Space. The drawings are the results of the artist's daily digital...

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Oscar Murillo transforms energy into dynamic art Related Press Oscar Murillo transforms energy into dynamic art 10 December 2018, The Korea Times

Oscar Murillo is an artist of energy who encapsulates the instability of his contemporaries living in the 21st century, who cannot truly feel a sense of belonging or stability. The artist is holding Catalyst , his first solo exhibition in Korea, at Kukje Gallery in downtown Seoul.

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Paintings bring back memories of countless past encounters Related Press Paintings bring back memories of countless past encounters 5 July 2018, The Korea Herald

With dark-and-bright contrasts throughout, young local painter Jwa Haesun's portraits of ordinary people remind us of our own memories of numerous overlooked encounters. Her portraits of unknown people have the power to evoke questions on the otherness of the others and the solitude that we feel among a crowd of unknowns.

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Artist Oh Su-fan turns canvas into mirror reflecting state of mind Related Press Artist Oh Su-fan turns canvas into mirror reflecting state of mind 19 June 2018, Yonhap News Agency

Oh Su-fan, a 72-year-old artist, has spent the 40 years of his professional life trying to erase the stream of consciousness. By doing so, he pursues order and naturalness in chaos. In his new solo exhibition, Dialogue , which runs at Gana Art Centre in Seoul from 20 June to 15 July 2018, 30 paintings created since 2016 are on display. The...

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'Fashion doomed to fade, but art is forever' Related Press 'Fashion doomed to fade, but art is forever' 27 April 2018, The Korea Times

American artist Alex Katz is known for his distinctive style of portraits featuring sophisticated yet daring women of all ages. The Lotte Museum of Art (LMOA) in southern Seoul presents the first solo exhibition of the 90-year-old artist, who stylises American culture and society such as fashion, beauty and landscape, in Korea. Titled Alex...

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Recent Events

Contemporary art exhibition, KIAF 2018 at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
4–7 October KIAF 2018
Contemporary art exhibition, G-Seoul 2015 at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
23–26 April G-Seoul 2015
Contemporary art exhibition, KIAF/14  at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
25–29 September 2014 KIAF/14
Contemporary art exhibition, G-Seoul 2014 at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
8–11 May G-Seoul 2014
Contemporary art exhibition, KIAF/13 at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
3–7 October 2013 KIAF/13

Korea's capital city for more than 600 years, Seoul is today the nation's cultural centre, housing many museums, galleries, and exhibition venues. The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA Seoul) lies at its heart, located next to the historical site of Gyeongbokgung Palace, which served as the main royal palace in the Joseon period (1392–1910). With its main branch based in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-do, the MMCA Seoul opened in 2013 with the mission to deliver modern and contemporary art to the public. Some of the iconic artists to have been exhibited at MMCA Seoul include Marcel Duchamp, Yun Hyong-keun, Choi Jeong Hwa, Shirin Neshat, and William Kentridge. The MMCA is also the site of prestigious awards such as the MMCA Hyundai Motor Series, dedicated to pioneering Korean artists, and the Korea Artist Prize.

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From Gyeongbokgung, take Seoul's Metro or—on a nice day—a ten- to twenty-minute walk to galleries in the nearby Samcheong District, also known as 'gallery street'. Kumho Museum of Art, founded in 1989 to promote Korean art, houses the works of artists who have shaped modern Korean art—including Nam June Paik, Lee Ufan, and Kim Whanki—as well as emerging Korean artists. Since the mid-2000s, Kumho has also focused its programme on design and architecture.

Gallery Hyundai, which stands right next to Kumho, was founded in 1970 by the pioneering gallerist Park Myung-ja. One of the first galleries to introduce abstract art to Korea, Gallery Hyundai represents leading Korean artists Kang Ik-Joong, Kwon Young-Woo, and Moon Kyungwon, amongst others, as well as international artists such as Iván Navarro and Robert Indiana.

Some of the leading contemporary galleries in the world can be found in Samcheong district as well. Kukje Gallery, founded in 1982, is known for its roster of Korean and international artists including Anish Kapoor, Bill Viola, Candida Höfer, Gimhongsok, Haegue Yang, and Kimsooja. Arario Gallery, which opened in 1989, has been innovative in introducing Indian and Southeast Asian artists to Korea. A regular presence in Frieze New York and Art Basel in Hong Kong since the early 2000s, PKM Gallery has exhibited Lee Bul, Olafur Eliasson, Bruce Nauman, and Katie Paterson, among others.

Other galleries are scattered throughout Seoul. One of the first major art galleries to open in Korea, Gana Art is a chief Korean and Asian contemporary art gallery noted for its public art projects. ONE AND J. Gallery, in Jongno District, was founded in 2005 and is dedicated to contemporary artists, among them Suyoung Kim, Min Ha Park, and New Zealand-based Seung Yul Oh. CHOI&LAGER Gallery was founded by Sunhee Choi and Jari Lager, and established a Seoul outpost in 2016.

Those wanting to experience contemporary Korean culture alongside art may venture to Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA), located in the former building of the Supreme Court of Korea and offering public exhibitions that address social issues. Designed by the acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, Dongdaemun Design Plaza's diverse exhibition programme encompasses design, fashion, and art, both Korean and international.

Some of Seoul's privately-run art museums are also worthwhile for their vast collections. Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, which opened in 2004, houses 36 pieces that are recognised as national treasures. Its buildings are designed by the architects Jean Nouvel, Rem Koolhaas, and Mario Botta.

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