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Interalia Art Company, Samseong-dong

To Dec. 10: The Interalia Art Company presents a solo exhibition by Seo Sang-ik entitled “Circus.”

Seo, a participant in the Interalia Young Artists’ Program, looks at society and the social phenomena of our time. While his previous series from 2008 to 2009 were allegorical in that he used animal images to describe the behavior of humans, this time he approaches the matter in a more serious way.

The artist shows 20 new pieces that reflect his philosophy of the world. The “museum section” illustrates how people of the modern age tend to look at the art world. The most interesting part is that it is totally centered on the artist’s own experiences.

Most notably, the artist connects various dots to create a full length story in an immobile painting. He creates a familiar atmosphere to which anyone can adhere and presents a story with characters that at first seem to be in a normal situation. However, with a second look, one can see that the story Seo is trying to tell is something extraordinary - a monkey placed in a museum instead of paintings, a man sitting on a toilet in an exhibition hall and more.

The gallery is open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Samseong Station, line No. 2, exit 5
(02) 3479-0114, www.interalia.co.kr



Hakgojae Gallery, Sogyeok-dong

To Dec. 31: The Hakgojae Gallery presents a solo exhibition by artist Zhang Huan entitled “Out of the Ashes.”

Born in 1965 in Anyang, Henan Province, China, Zhang started working with two other impoverished artists like himself in the 1990s. Together, they named themselves The East Village Group. In 1998, Zhang went to New York and started working with unconventional materials such as leather and steel. He also started experimenting with performance art, which put him on the map in the international art world.

This exhibition shows seven of Zhang’s works, each of which transcends genres.

Zhang’s work focuses on the rapid changes in his homeland brought about by modernization. But Zhang is also hoping to keep the traditional Chinese spirit alive through his work. To fulfill his aspirations, one of the key materials he uses is ashes, which are integral to Buddhist practices.

He also incorporates in his work things that can be seen in traditional Chinese households such as old doors and other curiosities.

The gallery is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit 2, or Gwanghwamun Station, line No. 5, exit 2

(02) 720-1524, www.hakgojae.com



Mongin Art Center, Samcheong-dong

To Jan. 16: The Mongin Art Center is holding an exhibition that examines the concept of happiness through various art forms.

Five artists show their own way of looking at the world without revealing it entirely.

Artist Kang Seok-ho’s Gesture series centers on how a person’s movements speak more than his or her words. He takes as his subjects people from current events shows or magazines and paints only the upper torso.

Media artist An Jung-ju focuses on the Sungnyemun fire incident, in which Namdaemun gate was burned down by a lone arsonist in 2008. An created a model of the gate out of paraffin wax and set it on fire, capturing the event on film. He then places his film next to footage of the actual Sungnyemun burning down.

Choi Ki-chang presents an installation entitled “Half Moon.” Despite its name, the actual piece is a shining model of a full moon. Seen from behind, however, it looks like a half moon. Choi distorts our perception of reality to show how dangerous preconceived notions can be.

The art center is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Gwanghwamun Station, line No. 5, exit 5
(02) 736-1447~8, www.mongin.org



The Museum of Photography, Bangi-dong

Dec. 12 to Feb. 19: The Museum of Photography presents an exhibition by photographer Jeon Mong-gag, who shares some of his most personal moments.

Jeon has prepared an exhibition dedicated to his daughter’s life - from her birth to the moment she gets married. The “Yunmi” series, which shows Jeon as a caring father, is being shown to the public for the first time in 32 years.

The photos were released in 1990 as a photo essay, which is currently in its fourth reprinting.

Along with the Yunmi series, the artist will also present his “Gyeongbu Expressway” series, showing his days at the Contemporary Research Society.

The Gyeongbu Expressway series is from Jeon’s time as an architect. He participated in the building of the freeway, which later paved the way for Korea’s modernization. The exhibition documents the construction process through Jeon’s lens.

The museum is open Mondays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Mongchontoseong Station, line No. 8, exit 2
(02) 418-1315, www.photomuseum.or.kr

*Information is culled from the galleries and other online sources.
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