The inaugural Frieze Seoul is now less than a week ahead, and expectations are high for one of the world’s largest art fairs being held for the first time in the city. Yet, there are also concerns that the Seoul edition of Frieze may cause market contraction in the local art market, as the local collectors strongly prefer works by international artists, and Korean contemporary artists have not yet had enough chances to build a large collector base in the international art world.
Nonetheless, many local galleries are taking the upcoming Frieze Seoul as an opportunity to introduce young and promising Korean contemporary artists and expand their presence to a wider stage.
Galleries will introduce numerous Korean artists during Frieze Week, which begins on August 29, 2022. P21, Gallery 2, Whistle, Gallery Hyundai, ONE AND J. Gallery, and Barakat Contemporary will be some of the galleries that will be introducing promising Korean artists in their 40s or under through their solo exhibitions.
P21 and GALLERY2 (74 Hoenamu-ro & 204 Pyeongchang-gil)
Haneyl Choi, Manner
August 25 – October 1, 2022
P21 and Gallery 2 will introduce artist Choi Haneyl (b. 1991), an artist who focuses on expressing the form of the body through sculptural works and reimagines the future of sculpting by deconstructing its existing perceptions and concepts. The artist believes that the position of the sculpture, which has been historically overshadowed by other art genres, especially paintings, is similar to that of LGBTQ community, which has been marginalized by society. By sculpting, assembling, and installing materials from ready-made to industrial materials such as urethane and iso-pink, Choi attempts to break the existing perception of social norms and order, cultural heritage, and gender issues by focusing on the subject matter of the body. With the idea that anything that can support itself can be a sculptural piece, he creates works that represent deformed body parts to imply the dichotomized world, such as normal and abnormal, the real and surreal, and softness and hardness.
Whistle (3F, 12 Hoenamu-ro 13-gil)
Taeyoon Kim: Oblique Afternoons
August 19 – October 1, 2022
At Whistle, Tae Yoon Kim (b. 1982) explores the subjectively perceived time and space through video-based, sound-based, and sculptural works. In other words, Kim gives a physical form to abstract time. In the case of video works, Kim collects images and scenes from everyday moments and goes through a video-editing process to make the collected images repeat and circulate to create a new way of recognizing the passage of time. Kim’s sculptural works are often placed alongside the video works. These sculptures with various shapes, colors, and textures are also expressed in a structure wherein circular lines are repeated. By placing together moving images that represent the different passage of time and sculptural pieces which capture a moment, Kim attempts to create a collision as well as a dialogue between two different temporalities: flow and pause.
Gallery Hyundai (14 Samcheong-ro)
AYOUNG KIM: SYNTAX AND SORCERY
Aug 10 – Sep 14, 2022
Gallery Hyundai introduces Ayoung Kim (b. 1979), who works on various media, such as video, virtual reality (VR), sound, performance, and text, to create a speculative fictional world or a new myth with various narratives. Her multidimensional stories are built through intensive data collection and research that suggest the possibility of a life in which people, nature, and objects coexist. While Kim has mostly dealt with different contemporary refugee issues in the past, SYNTAX AND SORCERY at Gallery Hyundai will present a fictional story based on delivery riders that represent the emigration of contemporary subjects governed by app algorithms. Through her works, Kim deconstructs and subverts the reality that exists behind social beliefs in a new and unfamiliar way.
ONE AND J. Gallery (31-14 Bukchon-Ro)
Jong Oh’s Solo Exhibition
Aug 29 – Sep 14, 2022
Artist Jong Oh (b. 1981) will be featured at ONE AND J. Gallery. Oh’s installation of sculptural works uses the lightest and smallest materials, such as thread, iron rods, wires, and Plexiglas, and applies a minimalistic approach throughout the creation process. In Oh’s works, he puts more weight on space than the materials. The threads, thin lines, or transparent acrylics give a vague sense in terms of the separation of the space, encouraging the viewers to recognize their surroundings. Oh suspends and interconnects the materials with a specific exhibition space to create ethereal minimal sculptures. His works are more like geometrical drawings or architectural structures that suggest simple three-dimensional spaces, providing an opportunity for the viewers to experience space in a new way.
Barakat Contemporary (36 Samcheong-ro 7-gil)
Sung Hwan Kim, Night Crazing
August 30 – October 30, 2022
Barakat Contemporary will introduce the works of Sung Hwan Kim (b. 1975), who has been previously introduced on the international stage, such as at the Museum of Modern Art (2021), the Venice Biennale (2017), and the Tanks at Tate Modern (2012). Kim is an artist who brings together personal histories with fantasies, rumors, politics, and culture to reflect issues of modern and contemporary history, social structures, cultural practices, and education systems. He combines various media—such as installations, video, performance, music, light, and drawings—to create an exhibition that responds to the architectural setting of a specific exhibition space. His mixed-media installations across the gallery’s two venues will reveal the artist’s relationship with history and the temporal and spatial layers that permeate our perception.
Some of the other Korean artists who are featured during Frieze Week are Song Burnsoo (b. 1943) at Gallery Baton, Kang Yo-Bae (b. 1952) at Hakgojae Gallery, Lee Seung Jio (b.1941) at Kukje Gallery, and Chung Chang-Sup (1927–2011) at PKM Gallery.