2018.11.9 Museums & GalleriesTHE MULCH AND BONES
Hakgojae Gallery, Jongno District
Through Saturday: The Kwon Sun-kwan solo exhibition features the 45-year-old artist’s photos and sound installations about the traces of victims of state violence or ideological conflicts in Korea’s modern history.
Among the photo works is a large-scale four-panel photograph of raging waves crashing on the beach that evokes the victims of the 1948 Jeju Uprising. There is also an installation composed of sounds collected over the course of 17 hours at the DMZ.
Admission is free. Go to Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit 2, and walk 10 minutes.
(02) 720-1524~6, www.hakgojae.com
THE 12TH GWANGJU BIENNALE
The Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall, the Asia Culture Center (ACC) and other venues throughout Gwangju
Through Sunday: Organized under the multi-curatorial system, 11 curators across seven teams present seven exhibitions with a total of 163 artists from 42 countries.
The exhibitions were planned quasi independently from one another, but are loosely tied under the theme “Imagined Borders,” a thematic reference to Gwangju’s 1995 inaugural Biennale, to “Beyond the Borders,” as well as to political scientist Benedict Anderson’s term “Imagined Communities.”
Among the many highlights are “Cities for the Future” by British artist Shezad Dawood at the “Imagined Nations / Modern Utopia” exhibition; “100 Hand drawn maps of my country...” by Indian artist Shilpa Gupta at the “Facing Phantom Borders” show; the “Bruise” series, by American artist Byron Kim at the “Faultlines” exhibition; and collective paintings from North Korea at the “North Korean Art: Paradoxical Realism” show.
In addition to the seven exhibitions, the biennale features new site-specific commissions by celebrated artists, including Thai film director Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Admission is 14,000 won ($12.50) for adults. The hours are different according to the venues.
THE 9TH BUSAN BIENNALE
Museum of Contemporary Art Busan and the former Bank of Korea’s Busan branch
Through Sunday: Under the theme of “Divided We Stand,” the Busan Biennale looks into the psychology behind continuing conflicts between groups, societies and cultures after the Cold War, with Paris-based art critic and curator Cristina Ricupero as the artistic director and Berlin-based writer and curator Jorg Heiser as the curator.
70 artists will present their works, including Berlin-based Henrike Naumann whose installation reflects the artist’s take on German reality, including the far-right’s rise in former socialist East Germany and Singapore-based artist Ming Wong’s sci-fi-inspired media art piece about the Chinese diaspora.
Admission is 12,000 won for adults. The biennale is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Seouliteum, Seongdong District
Through Dec. 30: Famous for the cover of the “Sex and the City” books, featuring colorful dresses against a black and white background, and other fashion illustrations in a similar style, the artist Megan Hess is behind many fashion illustrations, such as a collaboration with luxury fashion houses Christian Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Cartier, Prada, Versace, Tiffany & Co. and Givenchy, and also 100 illustrations of celebrities including Michelle Obama and Beyonce.
“Fashion illustration crosses over into different art forms. And a lot of times, it’s about creating a different visual story than photography, and it’s another way of illustrating the story,” said the illustrator.
The exhibition is curated by Yohan Choi, who has directed a number of exhibitions by artists who are not well known to the Korean public.
Admission is 15,000 won for adults. Get off at Seoul Forest Station, Bundang Line, exit 4 and walk five minutes.
(02) 547-3321, www.jnjohn.com
PopconD Square, Yongsan District
Through Nov. 15: Brazilian pop artist Romero Britto’s colorful works are widely adored in Korea, even by pop stars like Big Bang’s G-Dragon. In this exhibition, his fans can see his a number of his works, ranging from the beginning of his artistic career to newer works that have never been displayed anywhere else in the world.
“Salvador Dali” and “Friendship Bear” are some of the newest works by the love-spreading artist who believes that it’s “a universal language that speaks through my art.”
Some 120 pieces of work are on display including paintings, sculptures and two multi-media works sitting at the beginning and end of the exhibition.
Admission is 13,000 won for adults. The museum is connected to Yongsan Station, line No. 1.
(070) 6373-3000, www.popcond.com
SHADES OF NATURE, BUNCHEONG
Horim Museum, Gangnam District
Through Feb. 2: This exhibition at the Horim Museum allows visitors to compare contemporary Buncheong (greyish-blue ceramic covered in coarse white glaze) ware with older pieces of the same style. Two techniques of decorating buncheong ware are introduced, including the so-called Dumbung technique, which involves dipping the vessel in white clay, and the Gwiyal technique, in which the surface is decorated with white using a coarse brush. About 70 pieces of Buncheong ware from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) are on display, while there are about 50 modern works by nine artists using the two techniques.
Admission is 8,000 won. The museum is located near the Apgujeong Rodeo Station on Bundang Line, exit 5 and walk for about 10 minutes.
(02) 541-3523~5, www.horimmuseum.org
CHOI JEONG-HWA: BLOOMING MATRIX (MMCA HYUNDAI MOTOR SERIES 2018)
MMCA Seoul, Jongno District
Through Feb. 10: Choi Jeong-hwa, 57, one of the most internationally renowned Korean artists, is famous for piling up objects made of cheap plastic - such as plastic baskets of vivid colors found in Korean and other old-fashioned Asian markets - in inventive ways and on an expansive scale, so that the viewers can feel aesthetic pleasure to the point of sublimity.
In his new exhibition, the objects Choi uses go beyond plastic - ranging from wooden antique candlesticks from Korea’s Joseon period (1392-1910) to English cauldrons wrought of iron, wooden chairs from Africa, Chinese rubber shoes and modern frying pan handles - forming 146 large and small columns.
Together, these sculptures are called “Blooming Matrix” and are arranged in rows in a gallery at MMCA Seoul. They might remind a viewer of a traditional shrine or totem poles.
The exhibit also includes a gigantic work “Dandelion” in the museum’s forecourt. The piece is made up of 7,000 pieces of used metal and plastic kitchen utensils, like pans and pitchers, donated by the general public in a project entitled “Gather Together.” On each utensil is inscribed the donor’s name.
Admission is 4,000 won. Go to Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit 1 and walk for 10 minutes.
(02) 3701-9500, www.mmca.go.kr
BRAVE NEW WORLD: 2018 SEOUL PHOTO FESTIVAL
Buk Seoul Museum of Art, Nowon District
Through Feb. 10: The ninth Seoul Photo Festival entitled “Brave New World,” looks at how human beings have adapted to the changing environment, especially considering developments in science and technology.
The festival, inspired by a novel of the same title by Aldous Huxley, takes place across four different venues: the main event is at Buk SeMA, SeMA Storage, Platform Changong61 and movie theatre Artnine, all in northern Seoul.
19 artists from six countries have taken part in the main exhibition, which sheds light on various issues in contemporary society, many of which have sprang off from environmental changes that took place in the last century.
The list includes some renowned names, including Hatakeyama Naoya, Noh Suntag, Alejandro Cartagena and Cecile Evans.
Their subjects range from economic inequality and oppression from the state ideology to pollution and climate change, following the same problems raised in Huxley’s novel “Brave New World.”
Admission is free. Get off at Junggye station, lie No. 7, exit 3 and walk five minutes.
(02) 2124-5269, sema.seoul.go.kr