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We’re still doing monsoon season — also known as jangma — in Seoul, South Korea which means heavier than normal rainfall and swamp a@$ in conjunction with the dreaded coronavirus. But even though this year is gawd awful, at least the museums are air-conditioned and can bring some brief levity to the situation. Anyhow, scroll down to see my list of current exhibitions in Seoul, South Korea that you don’t wanna miss!

Coronavirus Restrictions at Museums in Seoul

As always during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, don’t forget to bring your face mask! Many art museums and galleries in Seoul will deny entry if you don’t wear one. You may also have to sign up for a Naver or Kakao account, download the app, and scan your QR code upon entry to some establishments to verify your identity. If you’re having difficulty with the app, you may be able to get by at the museum by supplying your phone number instead.

Here is a guide from Naver and Kakao regarding scanning your QR code at entry due to COVID-19. You can use the Google Translate plugin on your Chrome browser to translate the page into English. It’s best to prepare this in advance!

Upcoming Exhibitions in Seoul

Some exciting things to look forward to in the Fall: Jean Basquiat exhibition will be coming in October! You can pre-book your reservation on Naver. Also, teamLab will be coming to Dongdaemun Plaza in Seoul in late September!

Insane Park: I Have no Idea, Because I Have no Idea & Joy of Painting

insane park exhibition at arario gallery, seoul, south korea

Inspired by memes and Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting, Insane Park’s solo exhibition will be held at Arario Gallery (84 Bukchon-ro 5-gil, Jongro-gu, Seoul) from June 25th, 2020 to August 15th, 2020.

The first of the two exhibitions, I have no idea, because I have no idea., is comprised of installations and video art that appropriate memes, which oversaturate the internet, in an art historical narrative. Moving images and GIFs, even as short as 20 odd seconds, instantaneously capture the emotions and thoughts of a fleeting moment by referencing various modes of online communication. Through his body of work, Insane Park highlights the positioning of memes as a social trend through exponential reproduction and distribution, often taken out of context. This process guides the audience to challenge the tolerance of today’s vapid societal structure, which encourages industries, founded upon material desires of individuals, to spread and flourish through the channel of mass media.

 

By parodying the widely popular TV program of the same title, Joy of Painting-the second of the two exhibitions-humorously satirizes the value of art determined by the art world system. Insane Park collages scenes from the program in order to fabricate an episode in which Bob Ross, American painter and original host of the show, gives an “easy-to-follow” tutorial on becoming a Korean Abstract artist. The works on view, which have been created by borrowing from and imitating elements of the show, pinpoint the mechanism of the art market through the language of memes. This also reflects the artist’s intrigue in questioning the role of art in the contemporary art market within the structure of capitalism.

Arario Gallery

a’strict: Starry Beach

a'strict wave exhibition at kukje gallery, seoul
a’strict wave exhibition at kukje gallery, seoul, south korea

a’strict or ‘Art Tech Factory’ were formed by digital media company, d’strict. Remember them? D’strict brought us all that giant wave at the Coex Mall this summer! See this very cool, immersive wave experience at Kukje Gallery (Kukje Gallery K3, 54 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu Seoul, 110-200 Korea) from August 13th, 2020 to September 27th, 2020.

Upon entering the exhibition space—transformed into a black box—the audience will find themselves in a surreal landscape of luminous, surging waves resembling a brilliant, starlit night. Titled Starry Beach (2020), the installation that has been designed specifically for Kukje Gallery’s K3 space instantly provides a multisensory experience for the viewer. Accompanied by the sound of crashing waves, the high definition projections of waves rushing up and down the 6-meter high walls punctuate the pitch-black surroundings with a unique visual rhythm. a’strict takes inspiration from the infinite complexity of nature, in particular the diverse visual and sonic characteristics of water. The unit’s unprecedented digital interpretation of waves and ability to powerfully choreograph water within an interior architectural space successfully envision the marriage of contemporary art and technology at its finest, stimulating the viewer’s subconscious and evoking our shared associations with and reliance on water. The synesthetic qualities of Starry Beach transcend elements of mere visual spectacle or sentimentality by reinterpreting the physical properties of water, effectively transforming both the viewers’ perceptions of the space and their bodies.

Kukje Gallery

Hassan Hajjaj: A Taste of Things To Come

Hassan Hajjaj, Ghetto Gastro XL, 2018/1440 via Barakat Contemporary, Seoul

Hassan Hajjaj’s solo exhibition will last from August 5th, 2020 to September 27th, 2020 at Barakat Contemporary (36, Samcheong–ro 7–gil, Jongno–gu, Seoul).

Barakat Contemporary presents a solo exhibition of the artist Hassan Hajjaj, A Taste of Things to Come, from August 5 to September 27, 2020. Hassan Hajjaj moved to England with his family at a young age and is an artist who lives and works in Morocco and England, using photography as his main medium. The title of this exhibition, A Taste of Things to Come, is a message that reveals an embracing worldview that looks at the future through a constructive and positive perspective, taking care of one another and moving forwards at a time when humans are faced with global change. Through his body of work, the artist seeks to convey the importance of sharing the various cultural tastes of the world in which we live and communicate with each other.

Barakat Contemporary

Healing

TAKASHI MURAKAMI, I stare into your eye, 2020 via Perrotin Seoul
TAKASHI MURAKAMI, I stare into your eye, 2020 via Perrotin Seoul

This group art exhibition — including works from artists Takashi Murakami, Mr., MADSAKI, TENGAone, Kasing Lung, Aya Takano, Chiho Aoshima, Emi Kuraya, ob, Otani Workshop, Yuji Ueda and Shin Murata — will be available at Perrotin Seoul (1F 5 Palpan-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul) from July 23rd, 2020 to September 4th, 2020.

Museum of Fruit: Apple in My Eyes

Fun, interactive art museum exhibition in Seoul, South Korea
Fun, interactive art museum exhibition at SOMA in Seoul, South Korea

You can visit this fun, interactive art exhibition — hosted by Fruit Museum — at the Olympic Park Soma Museum (424 Olympic-ro, Oryun-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul) from July 24th, 2020 to December 31st, 2020.

Don Sunpil, Portrait First

Don Sunpil solo exhibition, Portrait First, at Art Sonje Center in Seoul, South Korea
Don Sunpil solo exhibition, Portrait First, at Art Sonje Center in Seoul, South Korea

This solo exhibition by Don Supil will be on view at the Art Sonje Center (87 Yulgok-ro 3-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul) from July 23rd, 2020 to September 13th, 2020.

Portrait Fist explores how we understand and consume images of faces. From people, celebrities, virtual characters, and highly schematized symbols, we encounter countless faces in daily life. From them, we interpret how familiar we are with them, one’s identity, nationality, political stance, or even the course of life and fate. It stands askew, always substituting for something else.

Art Sonje Center

Mire Lee, Carriers

Mire Lee solo exhibition, Carriers, at Art Sonje Center in Seoul, South Korea
Mire Lee solo exhibition, Carriers, at Art Sonje Center in Seoul, South Korea

This solo exhibition by Mire Lee will be on view at the Art Sonje Center (87 Yulgok-ro 3-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul) from July 23rd, 2020 to September 13th, 2020.

In her sculpture and installation work, Mire Lee uses machinery that operates by simple principles, along with materials that can be felt with the hands. For an artist who regards it as important to touch materials by hand as she works, machinery is a key element that contributes propulsion and repetition to the movements of the substances she touches. Her new work Carriers (2020), which is being shown for the first time in this exhibition, is a large kinetic sculpture that uses a hose pump, with a form resembling an animal’s digestive organs. The installation/sculpture work repeats movements as it sucks up, transports, and extracts viscous matter. As the substance moves through the sculpture’s structure, sounds are produced at odd moments along with the rhythm of the machinery movements.

ART SONJE CENTER

Kim Tae Joong: Blueless

Kim Tae Joong solo exhibition, Blueless, at Gallery Yoho

This solo exhibition by Kim Tae Joong will be on view at Gallery Yoho (459-7 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul) from July 30th, 2020 to September 13th, 2020.

APMA, Chapter Two

APMA, Chapter Two Art Exhibition at the Amorepacific Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea
APMA, Chapter Two Art Exhibition at the Amorepacific Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea

Organized by the Amorepacific Museum of Art (100, Hangang-daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul), this exhibition highlights traditional arts selected from APMA’s permanent collection. The exhibition is reservation-only due to COVID-19. On view from July 28th, 2020 to November 8th, 2020.

This show introduces the history of APMA through a wide range of artworks it has collected, encompassing paintings, metalcraft, woodcraft, and textile works. As the first exhibition dedicated to its traditional art collection, it attempted to show a large number of works to reexamine the value and historical significance of Korean traditional art.

Amorepacific Museum of Art

Museum Art Week 2020

Seoul Museum Art Week 2020
Museum Art Week 2020 in South Korea

The Ministry of Sports, Culture, and Tourism in South Korea is hosting their annual Museum Art Week in 2020 from Friday, August 14th, 2020 to Sunday, August 23, 2020. More information can be found on their website, here.

GOODS FOR YOU

Goods For You at D Project Space

The D Project Space (126, D TOWER, 17, Jong-ro 3-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul) will be hosting young Korean artists from July 1st, 2020 to December 31st, 2020 where you can also shop for merchandise.

Shiota Chiharu: Between Us

Shiota Chiharu via Gana Art Center

You can see Shiota Chiharu’s works at Gana Art Nineone (#103 Gana Art, Gourmet 494 Hannam, 91, Hannam-daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, 04401) from July 16th, 2020 to August 2nd, 2020, and at Gana Art Center (28, Pyeongchang 30-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03004) from July 16th, 2020 to August 23rd, 2020.

Chiharu who projects the trauma of death in her work uses a human’s finiteness and its unsettling inner side as her main subject. The artist also interprets death as the new beginning rather than “the end”, and further continues to reflect on the dichotomous boundaries, personal existence and identity that exist in the contemporary era. One of Chiharu’s most representative series is the installation piece with thread skein forming a shape of human blood vessels throughout the space. Through the complex spider web of entangled threads in a space, she visually embodies not only the agony of life and death but also the exploration on existence. Furthermore, these threads refer to the numerous interrelated thoughts and the relationships with surroundings needed to confirm one self’s identity. In essence, Chiharu continues to explore the existence and the innerness through her thread works as well as sculptures reminiscent of cells containing everyday objects which recall her memories.

Gana Art Center

OSGEMEOS: You Are My Guest

Osgemeos via Storage by Hyundai Car

Brazilian street artists, Osgemeos, are showing their first solo art exhibition in South Korea at Storage by Hyundai Car (248, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul) from July 15th, 2020 to October 11th, 2020.

Bending Light

Dan Flavin, Untitled, 1984 via Pace Gallery

Using light as their primary medium, this art exhibition presents recent works by key figures of the Light and Space movement. To see the Bending Light exhibition, visit Pace Gallery (262 Itaewon-ro, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul) from June 5th, 2020 to August 14th, 2020.

Bringing together a focused selection of works that employ light as their primary medium, Bending Light charts the evolving affinities between Peter Alexander, Robert Irwin, James Turrell, and Dan Flavin.

Pace Gallery

Space Opera

Space Opera Exhibition at KSD Gallery
Space Opera Exhibition (Lee Sejun) at KSD Gallery

Artist, Lee Sejun, will be displaying his works at KSD Gallery (1st Floor, Korea Securities Depository, 23 Yeouinaru-ro 4-gil, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul 07330) from July 1st, 2020 to August 12th, 2020.

Blue Bird: In Search of Happiness

Blue Bird Exhibition at Ttukseom Art Museum

The Blue Bird Art Exhibition was inspired by the story, ‘Blue Bird’ (L’Oiseau bleu), written by Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlinck in 1908. Participating artists include: Kim Kyung-hwa, Kim Won-jin, Lam, Echo, Shin Nara, Su-ji Ji. You can see this exhibition at Ttukseom Art Museum (33 Achasan-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul) until September 13th, 2020.

In the opening scene, the two children gleefully describe the beautiful decorations and rich desserts that they see in the house of a wealthy family nearby. When Bérylune says that it is wrong for the rich not to share their cakes with Tyltyl and Mytyl, the boy corrects her. It is enough that he gets to watch others’ happiness; their joy does not create envy in him. The theme is emphasized again when the children meet the Luxuries, particularly the biggest one of all, the Luxury of Being Rich. When Tyltyl turns the diamond, the hall is bathed with a dazzling brightness, and the Luxuries run wildly in search of a dark corner where they may hide their ugliness from the ethereal light. The names of such Happinesses as Innocent Thoughts and Seeing the Stars Rise and of such Joys as Being Good and Maternal Love affirm Maurice Maeterlinck’s view that true happiness lies in simple things, particularly in the warmth of family love.

At the end of the play, Tyltyl shows what he has learned about happiness. He looks out the window at the forest and remarks how beautiful it is. The inside of the house looks much lovelier to him than it did before. Also, he creates great happiness for another by giving his pet bird, which seems much bluer than before, to the sick child.

Wikipedia (The Blue Bird)

Pinocchio

You can see this kid-friendly Pinocchio art exhibition from June 26th, 2020 to October 4th, 2020 at the popular art museum in Seoul, Seoul Arts Center, Hangaram Art Museum (2406 Nambusunhwan-ro, Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul).

Cinderella Universe

Cinderella Universe at KMCA - Art Exhibitions in Seoul this July 2020 (@momotherose, momotherose.com)
Cinderella Universe at K Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, South Korea

For fans of the classic tale of Cinderella, you can see how the fairy tale is brought into the 21st century at a contemporary art museum in Seoul, KMCA (807 Seolleung-ro, Apgujeong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul), from May 5th, 2020 to August 30th, 2020.

Meditation Mindfulness

Meditation Mindfullness at Piknic - Art Exhibitions in Seoul this July 2020 (@momotherose, momotherose.com)
Meditation Mindfulness at Piknik, Seoul

Meditation Mindfulness is an art exhibition in Seoul with the purpose of inducing mindful meditation within ourselves. The art show will be held from April 24th, 2020 to September 27th, 2020 at the art gallery, Piknik (30, Toegye-ro 6ga-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul).

Unflattening

Unflattening, Korean War exhibition in Seoul, South Korea (@momotherose, momotherose.com)
Unflattening Art Exhibition in Seoul at MMCA via mmca.go.kr

On the 70th anniversary of the Korean War, Unflattening is the working title for a new art exhibition in Seoul that depicts various stories from the war. The art show will be held at the contemporary art museum, MMCA (30 Samcheong-ro, Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul), from June 25th, 2020 to September 20th, 2020.

The Pulitzer Prize Photographs

Pullitzer Prize Exhibition Art Exhibitions in Seoul this July 2020 (@momotherose, momotherose.com)

You can see the Pulitzer Prize Photographs on view from July 7th, 2020 to October 18th, 2020 at Seoul Arts Center, Hangaram Design Museum (2406 Nambusunhwan-ro, Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul).

Toulouse-Lautrec: A Little Giant of Moulin Rouge

Art Exhibitions in Seoul this July 2020 (@momotherose, momotherose.com)
Henri Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition in Seoul via SAC

Due to the difficulties of coronavirus, the collection did not return to Greece and remains in Seoul for an encore exhibition after the original Toulouse-Lautrec art exhibition ended earlier this year at Seoul Arts Center (Hangaram Art Museum.)

Featuring Parisian artist, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, this French art exhibition will showcase his works at the end of the 19th century at Seoul Arts Center’s Hangaram Art Museum (2406, Nambusunhwan-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul) from Saturday, June 6th, 2020 to Sunday, September 13th, 2020.

Finding Folklore in Gisan’s Genre Paintings

Art Exhibitions in Seoul this July 2020 (@momotherose, momotherose.com)
National Folk Museum of Korea in Seoul, Korea

This special folklore exhibition will be held from May 20th, 2020 to October 5th, 2020 at the historical art museum, National Folk Museum of Korea (37 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03045).

Kim Jun-geun was a painter active from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. He never achieved the fame of Kim Hong-do or Shin Yun-bok, the two most prominent genre painters of the Joseon period. However, he painted a more diverse range of folk customs. His genre paintings are considered invaluable in that they depict livelihoods, food, clothing, housing, rituals, and games popular among Koreans from a century ago more vividly than the photography that was introduced to Korea in the late nineteenth century.

National Folk Museum of Korea

Bottomless Bag

Art Exhibitions in Seoul this July 2020 (@momotherose, momotherose.com)

The Na Kim art exhibition, inspired by the movie “Inside Out” (2015), will be on view at Buk-Seoul Museum of Art (1238 Dongil-ro, Nowon-gu, Seoul 01783) from March 26th, 2020 to September 13th, 2020.

The exhibition’s title, Bottomless Bag, is taken from the bag appearing in the animated film Inside Out (2015). Filled with the main character’s memories and their associated orbs, along with an assortment of other objects, the film’s imaginary bag was chosen to illustrate the exhibition’s core concepts of ‘memory’ and ‘collection.’

The Korean title of the exhibition references the school supply–filled ‘object bags’ sold to students in Korea during the 1980s and 1990s. Remembering this nostalgic object of the past, the exhibition hopes to examine the times and memories connected by the objects.

In this exhibition, the space itself becomes the designer’s ‘object bag,’ where the images exhibited in the space become the ‘objects’ that evoke past memories and serve as the designer’s tools for a new experiment. The exhibition invites visitors to experience the meaning of those found objects collected and archived by Na Kim inside the museum space.

SeMA

2020 Asia Project: Looking for Another Family

Art Exhibitions in Seoul this July 2020 (@momotherose, momotherose.com)
Dew Kim, Kiss of Chaos (2020), single channel video. Commissioned by the MMCA.

The 2020 Asia Project: Looking for Another Family group art exhibition will be held from May 22, 2020 to August 23, 2020 at the modern art museum, MMCA Seoul (30 Samcheong-ro, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03062). It includes works by Kang Seung Lee, Eisa Jocson, 98B COLLABoratory+HUB Make Lab+KANTINA, Yee I-Lann, Dew Kim, Isaac Chong Wai, Jong YuGyong, Wang Tuo, Atsushi Watanabe, Jatiwangi Art Factory+Budnamugage, Feminist Designer Social Club(FDSC), Tandia Permadi, South Ho Siu Nam, Ni Hao, and RESBAK.

Deploying the concept of “family” to represent social solidarity, this year’s second-edition exhibition Looking for Another Family presents Asia as a public platform on which to discuss and share diverse issues concerning the Asian territory. In this scheme, the museum serves as an open space for discussion, gathering people of all generations and socioeconomic statuses for artists and audiences to envision “another form of a family”—a fluid platform for empathy and solidarity.

Featured in this exhibition are 15 teams of artists from eight Asian countries—Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines—who depart from contemplation on their own identities to explore wider realms of consciousness: their own communities, societies, countries, and eventually, the world. The artists also offer opportunities for viewers to involve themselves in active communication not only through artworks comprising performances, photographs, and videos, but also through workshops in the forms of a snack cart, farming, an investment booth, a music video screening, a newsroom, and a roundtable discussion.

MMCA

Eva Armisén Vida

Art Exhibitions in Seoul this July 2020 (@momotherose, momotherose.com)
Nueva vida (New life), 2019 by Eva Armisén

This Eva Armisén art exhibition will be held at art museum, Sejong Art Center (175, Sejongdae-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul), from June 27th, 2020 to September 20th, 2020.

Jang Koal: My Cup of Tea

Art Exhibitions in Seoul this July 2020 (@momotherose, momotherose.com)

This solo art exhibition by Jang Koal will be on view at Everyday Mooonday Art Gallery (14, Songpa-daero 48gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul, Korea) from June 5th, 2020 to August 2nd, 2020.

SOUNDMUSEUM

Art Exhibitions in Seoul this July 2020 (@momotherose, momotherose.com)

A large scale group art exhibition in Seoul — filled with sound and multi-sensory experiences — shown at one of the hippest art museums in Seoul, 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

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 Art 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.

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