2012.5.24 MUSEUMS & GALLERIESSA SUK-WON: SECRET PARADISE
Gana Art Center, Jongno District
To June 3: The solo show of artist Sa Suk-won presents some 40 paintings that draw inspiration from more than 100 waterfalls in Korea’s most famous mountains. The works are of strong and vivid colors with heavy textures - Sa’s signature style. “The falls are just like beauties hidden in the deep hearts of mountains, and you will never see their charm until you visit them in person,” the artist said in a note.
The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.
Go to Gyeongbokgung Station, line No. 3, exit 3, and take bus No. 1711 to the Lotte Apartment stop.
(02) 720-1020, www.ganaart.com
DO HO SUH: HOME WITHIN HOME
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
To June 3: This solo show of Do Ho Suh, now one of the hottest Korean artists in the international art scene, features 43 of his works, including drawings and video. A good number of the works are sculptures and installations related to homes, most of which have rarely been shown in Korea due to the difficulty of exhibiting such large pieces.
Among the works on display are life-sized sculptures made of translucent fabric, a model of a hanok (traditional Korean house), recreated apartment units, the facade of a Western-style building and other structures.
These spectacular pieces feature surprisingly elaborate details, ranging from the decorative frames of the hanok’s doors to a basin in the apartment.
Admission is 7,000 won ($5.9) for adults. A day pass including admission to the permanent exhibitions is 13,000 won.
Hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesdays to Sundays. A docent leads tours in English at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Hangangjin Station, line No. 6, exit 1.
(02) 2014-6900, www.leeum.org
OH HEIN-KUHN: MIDDLEMEN
Sungkok Art Museum, Jongno District
To June 17: Oh Hein-kuhn, a photographer well known for his “portraits of anxiety” taken of women, has finally added men to his portfolio. His solo show titled “Middlemen” features young male soldiers. The exhibition consists of 37 large photographs of everyday soldiers in the Korean Army, Navy and Air Force.
Though he received support from the Ministry of National Defense, Oh’s photographs are far from military promotions. Quite purposefully, the soldiers pictured don’t look especially gallant, though they’re not depressed, either. Most simply stare with emotionless faces. Some stand up stiffly, while others are in more comfortable poses.
These neutral portraits invite a sense of delicate unease just like the ajumma and teenage girls of Oh’s former series. Without purposeful expressions, the faces deliver a message of subtle and ambiguous anxiety.
“I’m interested in the anxiety felt by people whose identities are caught between two worlds,” the artist said in a press meeting. “Young soldiers are individuals integrated into the military situated in the middle ground between ‘we’ and ‘I,’ and I think this is where their anxiety stems from.”
Admission is 3,000 won for adults. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Tuesdays to Sundays.
Go to Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit 1, and walk for 10 minutes.
(02) 733-8945, www.artsonje.org
LEANDRO ERLICH: INEXISTENCE
SongEun ArtSpace, Gangnam district
To July 7: A step inside the solo exhibition of young Argentine artist Leandro Erlich is reminiscent of a childhood visit to a Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum. A horizontal staircase leads to nowhere, and endless mirrors baffle. One peek into the “Changing Rooms,” for instance, will make you feel trapped in a maze of reflections. The beginning and end disappear in the walk-through installation.
As is the usual style of the artist, Erlich’s exhibit takes everyday objects - from mirrors and glasses to ladders and doors - and twists them into objects from an alternate dimension.
The exhibition features four installation works including two mentioned above and one video documentary.
Admission is free. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays.
Go to Cheongdam Station, line No. 7, exit 9, and walk for 10 minutes.
(02) 3448-0100, www.songeunartspace.org
Information is culled from the galleries and other online sources.