Deoksu Palace branch of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Jeong-dong
To Feb. 12: This is a retrospective of Limb Eung-sik (1912-2001), a pioneer of photography in Korea.
Limb started as a fine arts photographer in the 1930s, but when the Korean War broke out in 1950 his work evolved, recognizing the power of documentary or realist photography. What he called “life-centered photography” became his focus in the 1950s. But Limb did not abandon his artistic qualities. Works like “Korean Ancient Architecture” and “Korean Artists,” which he shot in the late 1960s for a series in Korea’s famous architecture magazine Space, exemplify the continuation of his artistic roots.
The exhibit, held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Limb’s birth, features 200 pieces of his photography. Some 160 pieces are from the national museum’s collection, and the other 40 are previously unseen photos from a collection provided by Limb’s family.
Admission is 5,000 won ($4.34) for adults. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays to Thursdays and to 9 p.m. on Fridays to Sundays.
Go to City Hall Station, line No. 1 or 2, exit 1.
(02) 2188-6114, www.moca.go.kr
To Feb. 26: This large-scale retrospective of Kim Whanki, one of the most important and beloved visionaries of Korean modern art, features about 60 oil paintings by Kim, including four that have never before been unveiled to the public.
On display at the gallery’s older building are Kim’s 1937-56 paintings of his time in Seoul, his 1956-59 paintings of his time in Paris and his 1959-63 works depicting his time back in the Korean capital. The works from the Paris era and the second Seoul era are well-known, half-abstract, half-figurative paintings featuring objects that frequently appeared in traditional Korean paintings, such as the moon, mountains, cranes, plum blossoms and moon jars.
The gallery’s new building will show abstract paintings in blue tones on wide canvases that were created by Kim in New York from 1963 to his death in 1974.
Admission is 5,000 won. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays. A tour in English will be offered at 2 p.m. every Sunday and tours in Korean will be offered at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily.
Go to Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit 1, and walk for 10 minutes.
(02) 2287-3500, www.galleryhyundai.com
To Feb. 26: The retrospective of the photographer known for provocative celebrity portraits features about 160 pieces of photography compiled over the last 25 years.
His surreal, highly sexual, sometimes grotesque and over-the-top portraits of the world’s most talked about stars, including Michael Jackson, Madonna, Lady Gaga and Angelina Jolie, made LaChapelle a household name as a fashion and celebrity photographer.
This exhibition will display well-known photos in addition to recent pieces diverging from the celebrity theme.
The museum is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. except for the last Monday of every month. Tickets are 13,000 won for adults.
Go to Nambu Bus Terminal Station, line No. 3, exit 5.
(02) 566-0835, www.dlcseoul.com
ACCESS TO LIFE
To March 4: This exhibition displays 550 pieces of work, including photographs and documentary films that is part of a collaborative effort by Magnum Photos, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and an international financing organization.
American photojournalist Steve McCurry and seven other acclaimed photographers went to nine different countries - Vietnam, India, Peru, Haiti, Mali, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland and Russia - to capture images of patients before and after receiving AIDS treatments.
The photographs provide a glimpse into the lives of people around the world suffering from the disease and surviving thanks to international efforts.
Tickets cost 10,000 won for adults; 8,000 won for high school and middle school students; and 5,000 won for students under 12. Go to Nambu Bus Terminal Station, line No. 3, exit 5.
(02) 2277-2438, www.accesstolife.seoul.kr
WORK IN PROGRESS
To March 18: Even those who don’t know much about high fashion are likely to know of Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of French fashion house Chanel. But few will know that the 73-year-old designer, who is the force behind Chanel, Fendi and his eponymous brand, is in fact a renaissance man. Not only has he taken photographs of his own fashion collections since 1987, he has published books, done illustrations and recorded music. He even starred in an animated film for children two years ago.
This exhibition, a retrospective of some 400 photographs Lagerfeld has taken since 1987, highlights his photographic skills.
Admission is 5,000 won for adults and 3,000 won for students. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Monday.
Go to Gyeongbokgung Station, line No. 3, exit 3 and walk for five minutes.
(02) 720-0667, www.daelimmuseum.org
*Information is culled from the galleries and other online sources.