Art Shows in Seoul that You Shouldn’t Miss this Summer 2021
So, I skipped the month of April since there was too much overlap in previous exhibitions and took a little hiatus from art-hopping around Seoul — especially with coronavirus still lingering around. But if you’re ready to check out the latest in the art scene in Seoul, there are quite a few art exhibitions to look forward to this summer 2021 from Picasso to Andy Warhol!
Want to see William Wegman’s dog wearing designer clothing like YSL and Marc Jacobs? Then go. You can see William Wegman’s works at Hangaram Art Museum (Seoul Arts Center, Nambusunhwanro 2406, Seocho-gu, Seoul) from July 8th, 2021 to September 26th, 2021.
Yiyun Kang: Anthropause
Korean media artist, Yiyun Kang, will display her works from July 21st, 2021 to August 21, 2021 at PKM Gallery (40, Samcheong-ro 7-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul).
Beyond the Road
The Beyond the Road exhibition features artists like James Lavelle (UNKLE), Colin Nightingale, Danny Boyle, Alfonso Cuaron, Toby De, Nathan Cole, Azzi Glasser, Tupac Martir, and more. You can see this interactive exhibition at the Hyundai Seoul Alt. 1 Gallery (6F, 108, Yeoui-daero, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul) from July 23rd, 2021 to November 28th, 2021.
Seiji Fujishiro: Fantasy of Light and Shadow
Fujishiro Seiji is a famous kiri-e — Japanese cut-out art based on silhouettes — artist. You can see his works on view at Hangaram Art Museum (2406 Nambusunhwan-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul) from June 19th, 2021 to October 12th, 2021.
Tong’s Vintage: The Strange Tongui General Store
Tong’s Vintage exhibition which includes artists like HaeKang Lee, Haneul Kim, Moonassi, and Henn Kim will be on view at Daelim Museum (21, Jahamun-ro 4-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul) from May 20th, 2021 to July 25th, 2021.
The Chronicle of Lost Time
The Korean contemporary art exhibition, The Chronicle of Lost Time, includes artists like: Kho Nak Beom, Gwon Osang, Kim Kira, Gimhongsok, Debbie Han, Bahc Yiso, Bae Chan-Hyo, Shin Meekyoung, Wee Young-Il, Lee Dongi, Lee ByungHo, Lee Wan, Lee Yongbaek, Joo Jae Hwan, and Hong Kyoung Tack. The group show will be running from April 15th, 2021 to June 20th, 2021 at Seoul National University Museum of Art (1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-Gu, Seoul.)
Marcello Barenghi: It’s Life
Hyperrealist artist, Marcello Barenghi, will display his works in Seoul for the first time from April 24th, 2021 to August 22nd, 2021 at Popcorn D Square (55, Hangang-daero 23-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul). You can purchase tickets on Interpark or Naver.
Flowers by Naked
Flowers by Naked – Hongdae is an interactive media exhibition composed of flowers — this time brought to you by Nature Labs — in Seoul, South Korea, and starting April 30th, 2021 until the end of the year. The exhibit is located on the 4th floor of AK&hongdae (188 Yanghwa-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul.) Early bird tickets are available on Wemakeprice.
Faces of the Age, from Shakespeare to Ed Sheeran
The exhibition, Faces of the Age, or “Icons and Identities from the National Portrait Gallery, London,” is composed of five sections of portraits — borrowed from the National Portrait Gallery in London — with the themes “Fame,” “Power,” “Love and Loss,” “Innovation” and “Identity and Self-portrait.” You’ll find portraits of famous icons like William Shakespeare, Emily Bronte, Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, The Beatles, David Beckham, and even Ed Sheeran (wut.)
You can visit the exhibition from April 29th, 2021 to August 15th, 2021 at the National Museum of Korea (137 Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul).
Jonathan Gardner: Horizon
You can view Jonathan Gardner’s solo exhibition from April 22nd, 2021 to June 15th, 2021 at Jason Haam (73, Seongbuk-ro 31-gil, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, Korea 02879).
Max Dalton: Moments in Film
Max Dalton is a graphic artist based in Buenos Aires, Argentina and is probably most known for his music album covers and movie posters. He is famously known for the illustrations for the “Grand Budapest Hotel”, a Wes Anderson film. You can see the Max Dalton exhibition at My Art Museum (B1 Textile Center Building, 518 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul) from April 16th, 2021 to July 11th, 2021.
Sungkook Kim: The Storyteller
You can view Sung-Kook Kim’s works from May 6 to June 5, 2021 at Gallery LVS (Jasumi Building B1, 33, Dosan-daero 27-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul).
Kim Junggi, The Other Side
Kim Junggi is a fantastic animator and cartoonist based in South Korea. He also holds the world record for “longest drawing by an individual” in the Guinness World Records. The Kim Junggi exhibition will be on view at Lotte Art Museum (7F Lotte World Tower, 300, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul) from April 16th, 2021 to July 11th, 2021.
Pablo Picasso Retrospective
110 pieces of Picasso’s artworks will be brought to Seoul from the National Picasso Museum in Paris and shown from May 1st, 2021 to August 29th, 2021 at Hangaram Art Museum (2406 Nambusunhwan-ro, Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul). You can purchase early-bird tickets on Interpark.
FYI, there’s a long wait for this one, and I’m really terrible with long queues. The longest I’ve ever waited for an art exhibition was a Yayoi Kusama show in New York City where my friend and I stood there for two hours, patiently waiting while leaving the line on occasion for bathroom, coffee, and hot dog breaks … And the Louvre. But it was the le Louvre!
At the Picasso exhibition at Hangaram Museum, there was an hour-long wait to exchange my online ticket for a physical ticket and then another hour wait to stand in queue for the actual exhibition. I popped by one Saturday afternoon, took one look at the line, and decided that I would do something else that day. I came back alone earlier the next Saturday at 10:30 am thinking that I could beat the line. Nope. It was so frustrating and time-consuming that I gave up on day two after retrieving the paper ticket, asked the staff if I could come back the next day (Sunday.) Finally, on Sunday, I came back at 9:30 am (the museum opens at 10 am.) This time, I skipped the ticketing line, and there still managed to be a sizeable crowd.
The Massacre en Corée artwork depicting the Korean War was somewhat worth the wait as I had never seen this piece in person. I also really enjoyed the minotaur series of drawings. I felt disappointed only because I had been to the Picasso Museum, seen many of Picasso’s works in huge art institutions worldwide, and the wait time didn’t justify the outcome for me. I would have enjoyed it much more had there not been the soul-sucking queue. But I get it! It’s not every day that world-famous artists like Picasso make it to South Korea.
My advice to you? Go there on a weekday or if you must go on a weekend, get there at 9:30 am (maybe earlier) before the museum opens to queue and bring plenty of entertainment or friends to distract yourself.
The Blue Room is an immersive digital art experience brought to us by Habitant Media Studio. You can view the Blue Room exhibition from April 30th, 2021 to September 26th, 2021 at Ground Seesaw Myeongdong (9th floor of Avenue L, 73 Namdaemun-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul).
Lee Bul: Beginning
Lee Bul is a contemporary sculpture and installation artist that made her splash in the late 80s. Lee Bul––Beginning focuses on her works from the late 80s to early 90s and can be viewed at Seoul Museum of Art (61, Deoksugung-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul) from March 2nd, 2021 to May 16th, 2020.
Moomin: 75th Anniversary Special Original Painting Exhibition
In Boston, I had a few Finnish friends that showed me the delightful hippopotamus-looking Moomin characters! Moomins are the main characters of a series of beloved books and comic strips created by Swedish-speaking Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson.
The Moomin exhibition will be on view at Ground Seesaw (B1, Bldg. A, 49, Achasan-ro 17-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul) in the eastern Seoul neighborhood of Seongsu from November 13th, 2020 to November 14th, 2021. You can book ahead of time on Naver.
If you’re looking for an immersive experience like TeamLab Borderless Tokyo within South Korea, check out this art exhibition in the Insadong area of Seoul. It’s definitely an “Instagram-able” experience, so don’t forget to bring your smartphone and/or camera!
You can become a part of this digital media exhibition, Delight Seoul, between December 18th, 2020 to June 30th, 2021 at the Insa Central Museum (B1, Anyoung Insadong – 49, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul). Tickets can be bought in advance on ticketlink.co.kr.
On a side note, if you do want to see TeamLab Borderless in Seoul, there’s a TeamLab: Life exhibition currently running at Dongdaemun Plaza until the end of April. Keep scrolling for more information.
Andy Warhol: Beginning
After making its way through Italy, this Andy Warhol exhibition will arrive in Korea and will be open to the public between February 26th, 2021 to June 27th, 2021. You can buy early bird tickets at tmon.co.kr. The exhibition will be held at the brand-spanking-new The Hyundai Seoul, in Yeuido (6th floor, 10B, Yeoui-daero, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul).
If you’ve ever been to any TeamLab exhibition around the world or in Tokyo, you’ll know how delightful this immersive experience is. Take your selfies to the next level at this interactive exhibition at Dongdaemun Plaza (DDP Dongdaemun Design Plaza Museum B2F Design Exhibition Hall [M1 Gate], 281, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul 04566) from September 25th, 2020 to August 22nd, 2021.
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