Best Art Exhibitions in Seoul to See This May 2020

As Covid-19 takes a downturn in Seoul, Korea, museums have finally begun to reopen. Please take precautions when entering art museums in Seoul, Korea. Wear a mask (as they are often required) and bring hand sanitizer with you! We know well that it can change at any moment, so it’s important to stay safe and careful. With that said, here is a roundup of different art exhibitions in Seoul on view for the month of May 2020! Have fun and enjoy!

Update (5/29/2020): Museums and art galleries in Seoul will be closed for two weeks until June 14th due to the rise in COVID-19 infections. Read more at Artnet.com.

SOUNDMUSEUM

A large scale group art exhibition in Seoul — filled with sound and multi-sensory experiences — shown at D Museum (5-6, Dokseodang-ro 29-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul) from Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 to Sunday, December 27th, 2020.

The exhibition features 22 works across multifaceted categories, from sound installation, audience-driven performance, interactive sound installation, light art to visual music by 13 internationally recognized artists and collectives. With this exhibition, D MUSEUM is being reinvented as a new art platform where 13 sound spaces await to elicit awareness, sentiments and memories of individuals. In infinite yet transient aural world the audience will be reintroduced to the sense of hearing and guided into the journey of space, time and sound.

D Museum

Lionel Estève: Papier de Provence

Lionel Esteve, Art Exhibition in Seoul, Korea

The Lionel Estève art exhibition is on view from May 26th, 2020 to June 14th, 2020 at Gana Art Nineone (103 Gana Art, Gourmet 494 Hannam, 91, Hannam-daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul).

Rinus Van de Velde: On Another Plane of Existence

Rinus Van de Velde, Art Exhibition in Seoul, Korea

You can see Belgian visual artist, Rinus Van de Velde’s, works from May 27th, 2020 to June 27th, 2020 at Gallery Baton (116 Dokseodang-ro, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul).

Van de Velde explores the clear yet obscure definition of ‘reality’ and ‘fiction’, and moreover their intriguing relation. His practice is an outcome of his persistent investigation of those concepts, and narratives constructed by adaptations of them. A critical factor which distinguishes fiction and nonfiction depends on whether an incident actually occurs or not. At this point, another dilemma appears; when an event identical to a certain fiction happens, it can belong to the realm of nonfiction only when there is a witness who watches or records it. “Something we have seen in a movie actually happens”, the catchy headline we often hear from the media, indicates that perhaps reality and fiction have a low threshold between them and these two territories can be easily overlapped any time soon. Thus, fiction, reality and considerable potential of their loose boundary are the key word to understand Van de Velde’s artistic practice.

Gallery Baton

Desire Lines

JunkHouse and Storm, Street Art Exhibition in Seoul, Korea

This street art exhibition by JunkHouse (Korea) and Storm (Denmark) will be on view from April 10th, 2020 to May 24th, 2020 at Everyday Moonday (14, Songpa-daero 48gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul, Korea).

Everyday Mooonday Gallery presents a two-person exhibition by street artists JunkHouse (Korea) and Storm (Denmark) from April 10 to May 24.The urban landscape of Seoul shifts faster than any other cities. As such, the lifespan of a building is very short. Searching for a wall to paint and preserve a wall painting in this environment is difficult. Thus there are only a few active street artists in Seoul. The two artists have worked these streets for a number of years now and we invite you to see how they see and realize a city.

Everyday Mooonday

Leandro Erlich: Both Sides Now

Leandro Erlich, Art Exhibition in Seoul, Korea

This solo art exhibition by Argentinian artist, Leandro Erlich, will be on view from December 17th, 2019 through Sunday, June 21st, 2020 at Buk-Seoul Museum of Art (1238, Dongil-ro, Nowon-gu, Seoul, Korea).

Presented across four exhibition galleries of the museum, this exhibition introduces new works Car Cinema and In the Shadow of the Pagoda, two site-specific installations that dominate the space with their massive scale and ends with The Cloud(South Korea, North Korea), a sculptural piece reflecting on the theme of the exhibition. Offering a unique viewer experience, the exhibition will also present a selection of Erlich’s earlier works. Highlighting the artist’s distinct sense of humor and brilliant imagination that push the boundaries of reality, Leandro Erlich: Both Sides Now hopes to provide the viewers with a new aesthetic experience representing the forefront of contemporary art.

SeMA
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Claire Tabouret: Siblings

Claire Tabouret, Art Exhibition in Seoul, Korea

This solo art exhibition will be shown at Perrotin Seoul (1F 5 Palpan-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul) from Thursday, May 7th, 2020 to Friday, July 10th, 2020.

Perrotin Seoul is pleased to present Claire Tabouret’s exhibition ‘Siblings.’ Started in 2019, Claire Tabouret’s new series of portraits were initiated in a time when gatherings were frequent and interaction encouraged. The artist finished this new body of work in a context that has fundamentally changed, while we are forced into global lockdown by pandemic. Tabouret’s own outlook on her work has evolved, and these portraits serve as a reminder of the power in community and the importance of remaining connected even while we are separated. Her exhibition, Siblings, carries a certain nostalgia made heartrending by the isolation we all experience.

Perrotin

To the Moon with Snoopy

This fun Snoopy art exhibition has been extended to Sunday, June 21st, 2020 and is located at LOTTE Museum of Art on the 7th Floor of the LOTTE World Tower (300, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul).

LOTTE Museum of Art boldly brings to you a special exhibit, presenting a wealth of space-themed artworks centered around Snoopy from Peanuts – the very beagle who accompanied the astronauts on NASA’s Apollo X mission approximately half a century ago. Peanuts, which turns 70 this year, has long been hailed as a contemporary classic due in part to its distinct outlook on the world. Best known for the iconic beagle Snoopy, the legendary comic franchise was originally created by American cartoonist Charles M. Schulz as a series of four-panel comic strips, featuring Charlie Brown and Snoopy as the two mainstays along with a gang of young friends. Peanuts ran for 50 years from 1950 to 2000, and was enlisted in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most published comic strip in the world.

LOTTE MUSEUM

Inside Magritte

Inside Magritte (Rene Magritte), Art Exhibition in Seoul, Korea

This fun, surrealist René Magritte art exhibition lasts from Friday, April 10th, 2020 to Sunday, September 13th, 2020 at Insa Central Museum (49, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul).

Big Eyes: Margaret Keane Retrospective

Big Eyes (Margaret Keane), Art Exhibition in Seoul, Korea

Made famous by the film, Big Eyes, Margaret Keane was a feminist artist who was overshadowed by her husband for many years and known for her paintings of long-faced female figures with exaggerated eyes. See her works at My Art Museum (B1, Textile Center Building, 518 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul) from Wednesday, May 13th, 2020 to Sunday, September 27th, 2020.

2020 The 8th Seoul Modern Art Festa

SMAF 2020 is a free art exhibition that showcases various Korean contemporary art trends at Hangaram Art Museum at Seoul Arts Center (2406, Nambusunhwan-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul) from Friday, May 8th, 2020 to Saturday, May 16th, 2020.

FOR YOU: Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer, Art Exhibition in Seoul, Korea

These large-scale art installations by American Artist, Jenny Holzer, will be on view from November 23rd, 2019 to Sunday, July 5, 2020 at MMCA Seoul (30 Samcheong-ro, Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul).

FOR YOU: Jenny Holzer presents texts by Holzer and other authors selected by the artist on posters, a robotic LED display, and stone carvings. Created especially for this project, a new monumental LED artwork, FOR YOU, foregrounds the voices of women, featuring texts in Korean and English by five contemporary writers: Kim Hyesoon, Han Kang, Emily Jungmin Yoon, Svetlana Alexievich and Hawzhin Azeez. Examined together, the work of these authors reflects on diverse accounts of vulnerability and abuse of power, life and death, and the ways gender and sexuality play into violence and oppression. The sculpture resonates with our turbulent era of ongoing wars, terrorism, and violence, and the unforgettable pain of those suffering. Holzer actively engages with and addresses pressing concerns, maximizing her messages in public spaces and emphasizing their urgency and immediacy. MMCA anticipates that this project will inspire you to ask the questions evoked by the texts and listen to the voices resonating within you.

MMCA

현대 HYUNDAI 50

Hyundai 50 Art Exhibition in Seoul, Korea
Nam June Paik, Marco Polo via Gallery Hyundai

Part one of this group art exhibition will be held at Gallery Hyundai (14 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul) from Friday, April 17th, 2020 to Sunday, May 31st, 2020.

It includes big names in the Korean art scene like: Chun Kyungja, Chung Sang-Hwa, Kim Tschang-Yeul, Kim Whanki, Lee Jung Seob, Lee Ufan, Nam June Paik, Park Seo-Bo, Park Soo-keun, Rhee Seundja, and To SangBong.

Part One of the exhibition will showcase approximately seventy works by forty-one masters of modern and contemporary Korean art. The majority of these exemplary pieces were first introduced to the world through one of the countless exhibitions and solo shows held at Gallery Hyundai between 1970 and the early 1990s.

Gallery Hyundai

Truths that would be maddening without love

Tobias Rehberger, Art Exhibition in Seoul, Korea

A solo art exhibition by Tobias Rehberger at Gallery Baton (116 Dokseodang-ro, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul) from March 18th, 2020 to May 13th, 2020.

Wolves, Sunsets and the Self

Billy Childish, Art Exhibition in Seoul, Korea

British artist, Billy Childish’s, paintings are on view from Thursday, April 23rd, 2020 to Saturday, June 27th, 2020 at Lehmann Maupin in Seoul.

Lehmann Maupin is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Billy Childish. The prolific British painter, musician, and writer has produced hundreds of albums of music and dozens of volumes of fiction and poetry. For his sixth exhibition with the gallery, and his first with Lehmann Maupin in Korea, Childish has created a body of work emblematic of his “radical traditionalist” approach. Pulling from themes found throughout art history—a verdant landscape, a sunset, a still life—Childish presents intensely personal vignettes that feel archetypical, vibrating with the kinetic energy of a moment lived.

Lehmann Maupin

No Space, Just A Place. Eterotopia

Daelim Museum & Gucci - No Space Just A Place. Eterotopia, Art Exhibition in Seoul, Korea

This Gucci-hosted art exhibition — in collaboration with writer and curator, Myriam Ben Salah — will be held at Daelim Museum (21, Jahamun-ro 4-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul) from Friday, April 17th, 2020 to Sunday, July 12th, 2020.

Taking its cue from the complex history of independent and alternative art spaces in Seoul and Gucci’s reflections on eterotopia, the exhibition proposes a new definition of what an “other space” might be: place in which the understanding of otherness comes to life.

The exhibition, curated by Myriam Ben Salah, known for her radical aesthetic vision, formulates a new definition of “being together.”

Using strong visual imagery, imbued with humor and magical realism, the participating artists playfully question the narrow perspectives of our society’s dominant discourses in a way that perfectly chimes with Gucci’s eclectic, contemporary vision.

Daelim Museum
Olivia Erlanger, Ida, Ida, Ida!, 2020

Design Art Fair 2020

Design Art Fair 2020 in Seoul, Korea

The Design Art Fair 2020 can be found at Hangaram Art Museum at Seoul Arts Center (2406, Nambusunhwan-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul) from Friday, May 29th, 2020 to Saturday, June 20th, 2020. Participating artists can be found here.

Collecting for All

Seoul Museum of Art, Art Exhibition in Seoul, Korea

“Collecting for All” presents 131 works from the museum’s collection from Thursday, April 16th, 2020 to Sunday, May 31st, 2020 at Seoul Museum of Art (61, Deoksugung-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul).

Collecting for All is an exhibition of works by everyone. The museum collection is a public asset that’s protected by the museum and conserved in the museum storage most of the time, but it should actually be something that’s accessed and enjoyed by the public more often. This exhibition has been organized to provide a friendly everyday environment through which to take closer steps to the museum collection that reflects our very own lives.

SeMA

Dreaming Pillow Pads

Dreaming Pillow Pads art exhibition in Seoul. One of many art exhibitions in Seoul, Korea during the month of February 2020.
Exhibition Poster via Space*C

This art exhibition will be on view from December 12th, 2020 to June 30th, 2020 at Coreana Cosmetics Museum (827 Eonju-ro, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul).

Embroidered pads, in particular, bore colorful patterns including phoenixes and mandarin ducks as the symbol of harmonious and loving marriage, peonies to wish for wealth and prosperity, and Chinese characters that signify longevity, fortune, and happiness. The beautiful patterns were unfolded on the palm-sized cloths in colorful threads, like brush strokes sliding over a white paper. One can find how the patterns became unique creations, born again each time through the embroiderers’ signature compositions or techniques, and how their shapes also have evolved over generation.

Space*c, Coreana Art and Culture Complex

Man, Matter, Metamorphosis – 10,000 Years of Design

Beaked Boots via the National Museuem of Finland will be displaying at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. One of many art exhibitions in Seoul, Korea during the month of February 2020.
Beaked boots (National Museum of Finland) via the Korean Herald

This art exhibition — in collaboration with the National Museum of Finland — will showcase 140 Finnish cultural heritages and 20 Korean artifacts in various categories including archeology, folklore, modern industrial design, photography, and video. The collection will be on view from Saturday, December 21, 2019 to Sunday, May 10th, 2020 at the National Museum of Korea (37 Seobinggo-ro, Seobinggo-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul).

It will offer an interesting moment to experience new perspectives on how the objects in the remote past have so much in common with those of today, how the past continues to affect the future, and the similarities and differences in the material cultures of the two distant regions of Korea and Finland.

National Museum of Korea

Lee Joo Won: Be Kind Rewind

Lee Joo Won art exhibition in Seoul. One of many art exhibitions in Seoul, Korea during the month of February 2020.
Exhibition Poster via Bunker 39

Lee Joo Won’s solo art exhibition will be on view from Friday, January 31, 2020 to Saturday, May 9, 2020 at B39 (Bucheon Art Bunker B39, 53, Samjak-ro, Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea).

Mari Kim: Masterpiece-Immortal Beloved

Mari Kim, Art Exhibition in Seoul, Korea

You can see Mari Kim’s artwork at Gana Art Center (28, Pyeongchang 30-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03004, Korea) from Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 to Sunday, May 31st, 2020.

Mari Kim lays emphasis on the concept of “pictorial cloning” that reflects modern trends rather than cloning for mass production, and she expands her own characters in various ways. At the same time, she tries to answer the unique questions about universal beauty and the fundamental discussion of ‘artistry’ raised by modern technology cloning in her way.

Gana Art Center

Monet to Cezanne: Jerusalem Israel Museum Impressionist Masterpiece

This 19th-century Impressionist art exhibition — brought to the Seoul Arts Center by the Jerusalem Israel Museum — will last from Friday, January 17th, 2020 to Wednesday, May 13th, 2020. Visit this exhibition at Hangaram Art Museum, located at the left-wing of the Seoul Arts Center, at 2406 Nambusunhwan-ro, Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul.

From Monet to Cezanne: Jerusalem Israel Museum Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces is a 19th-century Impressionist exhibition held by the Jerusalem Israel Museum, the world’s largest museum, rather than a collection of European art galleries. Their collection, which is viewed from a non-European perspective, will be an exhibition of how impressionist works and writers, a branch of the art movement centered on France in the late 19th century, influenced contemporary art.

Seoul Arts Center

Moulin Rouge’s Little Giant: Toulouse-Lautrec

Featuring Parisian artist, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, this French art exhibition will showcase his works at the end of the 19th century at Hangaram Art Museum (2406, Nambusunhwan-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul) from Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 to Saturday, May 16th, 2020.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec art exhibition at Hangaram Art Museum in Seoul. One of many art exhibitions in Seoul, Korea during the month of February 2020.
Toulouse-Lautrec, Seoul Arts Center (sac.or.kr)

AU MAGASIN DE NOUVEAUTES

Hermes Art Exhibition in Seoul, Korea

This solo exhibition from the winner of the 18th Hermès Foundation Missulsang, Sojung Jun, is on view at Atelier Hermès (7, Dosan-Daero 45-Gil, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul, 06021, Korea) from Friday, May 8th, 2020 to Sunday, July 5th, 2020.

< AU MAGASIN DE NOUVEAUTES > is on the hypothesis of imaginative escape from the present by intersecting heterogeneous tempo-spatial axes – modern times and contemporary period – with a motif of early poems by poet and architect Yi Sang (1910-1937). The title of the exhibition has been appropriated from one of the poems with the same title out of his serial poetry titled < Architecture Infinite Cube> (1932) covered in ‘Joseon Geonchuk (Architecture Magazine)’. The poem is known to have been written on the theme of the Mitsukoshi Department Store which was newly built in Gyeongseong, the then capital city of Korea. The poem was an observation of the transforming city of Seoul into a space of capitalism under the colonial rule and its bustling crowd, and an ambivalent reality brought in by the modern civilization through enigmatic codes and a multi-view approach.

Maison Hermès Dosan Park

Outdoor Project Cody Choi

Outdoor Project Cody Choi: Venetian Rhapsody ― The Power of Bluff is an exhibition that is running until May 17, 2020 and located at the MMCA in Cheongju, South Korea (314, Sangdang-ro, Cheongwon-gu, Cheongju-si, Chungcheongbuk-do, Republic of Korea 28501).

Venetian Rhapsody—The Power of Bluff, a work designed to mimic the flashy neon signs in the famous gambling city Las Vegas. The scenery of the Venice Biennale overlaps with the cityscape of Las Vegas in that the authoritative art biennale and its excavation of star artists ultimately serve as means to turn art into a business. Adopting advertisement techniques—the key elements of capitalism—the installation scathingly lampoons the shadow of capitalism cast over contemporary art.

MMCA

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