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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 in May 2021 from Picasso to Andy Warhol!

The globe-trotting Tutankhamun exhibition is also coming to the War Memorial Museum in Yongsan, Seoul, South Korea on June 22nd, 2021. You can pre-purchase tickets with a discount on Naver.

The Chronicle of Lost Time

The Chronicle of Lost Time: Until the Quantity of Interpretation Is Sufficient via SNMOA

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.)

The exhibition The Chronicle of Lost Time was organized as an introspective reading of Korean contemporary art, which has dashed through the radiant, turbulent times of modern and contemporary history, and continues to speed on. In its early stage, when “Western art” had mythological influence, Korean contemporary art saw Western art sometimes as a mirror and sometimes as a milestone, which also caused difficulties in representing or expressing “life here and now,” and in the prospects of interpretation and criticism. Today those times have moved a step back, and are being poured into a smelting furnace of intense interpretation and discourse. Now we place that time upon the interpreter’s desk.

Seoul National University Museum Of Art

Marcello Barenghi: It’s Life

Marcello Barenghi’s Fried Egg

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 via Nature Labs

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

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

Jonathan Gardner Exhibition at Jason Haam, Seoul, South Korea

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).

Jason Haam is pleased to present Jonathan Gardner: Horizon, the artist’s first introduction in Asia and solo exhibition with the gallery. The artist’s signature style of flattened pictorial space, hyper-stylized compositions, and depictions of dream-like worlds come together in familiar, yet imaginary scenes that are drawn from Gardner’s own personal experience and collective memory. The presentation will feature five new paintings that highlight Gardner’s virtuosity of composition, form, and color. The title of the exhibition—Horizon—references the division of space in Gardner’s works, which create’a theatrical, stage-like space in which his figures occupy’. Gardner gives all figures, objects, and landscapes the same compositional value by bringing them to the forefront of the visual plane. Though Gardner flattens perspective, the placement of these forms within this space suggests a distant horizon.

Jason Haam

Max Dalton: Moments in Film

Max Dalton exhibition at My Art Museum in Seoul, South Korea

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.

This exhibition was designed and arranged with the theme of “Max Dalton’s creative illustrations of moments in the film.” In particular, commission posters created from motifs of the Korean film Parasite and the fantasy saga Lord of the Rings as well as eight unreleased series of artworks, and sketches will be available on view for the first time at My Art Museum. Dalton’s illustrations portray a film’s entire narrative into one canvas, offering viewers the kind of fun one may feel when playing Where’s Waldo, or I spy. The exhibition is divided into five Acts according to the theme of the artworks; in each Act, the viewers are invited to “watch” films via artworks and enjoy a variety of genres of illustrations ranging from children’s book illustrations to LP covers made in honor of great musical artists such as The Beatles and Bob Dylan. Moreover, part of the posters displayed at the exhibition will be available for purchase in special limited editions. Dalton’s playful illustrations will present the viewers the entertaining opportunity to rediscover films and possibly, the love for certain genres. 

My Art Museum

Sungkook Kim: The Storyteller

Kim Sung Kook’s The Storyteller via Gallery LVS

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).

I express relationships between individuals, individuals and society, and societies as a whole. I find these relationships difficult to comprehend, yet compelling. My works are symbolic visualizations of social relationships, feelings, and my perspectives of these experiences, like a pictorial record. They are the process of analyzing and understanding relationships in my surroundings. Furthermore, they are also devices to capture moments of everyday life which I believe are too meaningful to let pass by.

The themes come from my interpersonal problems. I have always wanted to be social and to get along with people, though it has always been difficult for me. Social psychologist David Myers said that proper self-disclosure (the extent to which one person reveals himself to another through communication) is necessary for maintaining good relationships with others. In that respect, knowing one’s self accurately is important, but it’s something I still have not figured out. Therefore, I appropriate well-known images and concepts that exist in society and compose them with my surroundings onto a canvas. This is a reflective act and a way for me to see myself, as if looking in a mirror.

– Sung-Kook Kim, Royal College of Art

Kim Junggi, The Other Side

Kim Jung Gi Exhibition at Lotte Art Museum in Seoul, South Korea

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.

The exhibition will serve as a road sign directing viewers to the flip side of Kim’s imaginary world – The Other Side. On a canvas overlaid with various images of pop culture, numerous figures and forms from all different time and space follow a well-scripted anecdotal structure to complete a composite narrative. The few thousand sheets of drawings allude well to Kim’s love for the act of drawing and his tenacious focus towards his subjects. Through a special live drawing performance given by the artist himself inside the exhibition hall, viewers will have a chance to witness his visual memory being transferred on to paper with precision through the tip of his pen.

Lotte Museum

Pablo Picasso Retrospective

Picasso Art Exhibition at Hangaram Art Museum

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.

I paint forms as I think, not as I see

Pablo Picasso

Blue Room

The Blue Room Exhibition at the Ground Seesaw in Myeongdong

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). Opening dates have been postponed temporarily due to COVID-19 restrictions, but will be announced soon on their Instagram.

Lee Bul: Beginning

Lee Bul exhibition at Seoul Museum of Art

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.

Lee Bul’s work prominently uses symbols captured through exploring the inside and the outside of the body, the androcentric legacy of modernism and ideologies of Korean modernization. These motives reveal the clash of meanings between beauty, ugliness, life, death, mind, body, light and shadow. By projecting biased external gazes on society, politics, gender, class and ethnicity, her works traverse given borders. The exhibition revisits the artist’s starting point to create a new tension between two perspectives anchored in the past and the present. This narrative of return not only enriches the interpretation of Lee Bul’s artistic practice but also projects our current view over it so as to pose a few questions still valid to us.


Moomin: 75th Anniversary Special Original Painting Exhibition

Moomin exhibition at Ground Seesaw in Seongsu

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.

APMA, Chapter Three

APMA, Chapter Three Collection at AmorePacific Museum

A collection of contemporary art will be on view at AmorePacific Museum of Art (100 Hangang-daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul) for its third installation. Artists include Mary Corse, Joseph Kusuth, Sterling Ruby, Ernst Gamperl, Lee Bul, Adam Pendleton, Rochelle Feinstein, Jennifer Bartlett, and Petah Coyne. Reservations are required and can be made online at apma.amorepacific.com.

Over 50 works of various genres, including paintings, installations, photography, media, and crafts, are displayed in the seven exhibition rooms. Works by artists who are actively active both at home and abroad were selected, and the production period of the works was encompassed from the 1960s to 2020, allowing you to look at the current trends of major contemporary art as well as the latest trends.


2021 Delight Seoul

2021 Delight Seoul Exhibition in Insadong, Seoul

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

Andy Warhol: The Beginning Seoul

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).

The exhibition includes 153 works including Marilyn Monroe, representative of Andy Warhol, an icon of popular art, and signature prints such as flowers, as well as his drawings that were not easily seen, is released. […] This exhibition, which visits Korea for the first time after a successful tour of Italy’s major art museums, is expected to give visitors a fresh stimulus with the intensity of Andy Warhol’s peculiar intensity to daily life that is helpless due to the corona pandemic.


TeamLab: LIFE

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.

teamLab (f. 2001) is an international art collective, an interdisciplinary group of various specialists such as artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians and architects whose collaborative practice seeks to navigate the confluence of art, science, technology, and the natural world.

teamLab aims to explore the relationship between the self and the world and new perceptions through art.

In order to understand the world around them, people separate it into independent entities with perceived boundaries between them. teamLab seeks to transcend these boundaries in our perception of the world, of the relationship between the self and the world, and of the continuity of time. Everything exists in a long, fragile yet miraculous, borderless continuity of life.


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One comment on “Art Shows in Seoul that You Shouldn’t Miss in May 2021

  • THANNKKKKK YOUUUU for your posts about current exhibitions that we can enjoy in Seoul <3 Thank youuuuuu!

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