This year, the recent rapid growth in the South Korean art market has begun to draw a lot of attention from the international art world. Big-name international galleries have been announcing their plans on opening outposts in Seoul, and Frieze will be holding its Seoul art fair next year.
Yet, this momentum is not limited to the art market.
Korean modern and contemporary art, which have been largely unexplored in global art history, is scheduled to be introduced at international art museums in 2022.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien(ZKM) in Germany will be the two international stages that will present Korean avant-garde art for the first time. Both exhibitions joined hands with the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Korea(MMCA).
The Avant-Garde: Experimental Art in South Korea, in the 1960s–1970s at the Guggenheim Museum will highlight the Korean avant-garde art movement that developed amidst the political upheaval of the dictatorship and the democratization movements after the Korean war.
The Korean art movement took the power of the group to challenge the older generation and pursue experimental art. Groups formed during this period include the Korea Avant-Garde Group (AG), Space and Times (ST), and the Fourth Group. Leading artists who are considered the first generation of Korean avant-garde art, such as Kim Kulim, Lee Kun-Yong, Lee Kang-So, and Seung-taek Lee, will be introduced in the exhibition.
The exhibition is reportedly scheduled to be held in 2022. Kang Soojung, Curator at the MMCA, and Kyung An, Associate Curator of Asian Art at the Guggenheim, are co-curating the exhibition.
Soungui Kim: Lazy Clouds, which was organized by and held at the MMCA in 2019, will be on view at Germany’s ZKM from September 17, 2022, to February 5, 2023.
Since the 1960s, France-based South Korean artist Soungui Kim has been working on confronting the present system through exploration of Eastern and Western philosophy. Her works go through various genres, including painting, sculpture, installation, video, performance, and land art. She is one of the leading female artists who led the Korean avant-garde art movement in the 1970s.
In addition, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in Los Angeles will hold The Space Between: The Modern in Korean Art, also co-organized with the MMCA, in the fall of 2022 to showcase the largest collection of modern works in Korea from 1897 to 1965. The exhibition will include part of the Lee Kun-hee collection donated to the MMCA.