Frieze Seoul has returned to the capital of South Korea after its debut final 12 months, opening its VIP preview on September 6. To proceed the hype of the final 12 months on an excellent greater scale, most of the museums, galleries, and smaller impartial areas all equipped for receiving a rising viewers for artwork within the nation. This 12 months, the honest additionally coincides with the inaugural Seoul Artwork Week, whose schedule is filled with exhibitions, and in addition comes with 4 organized nights of talks and occasions going down in neighborhoods all through town.
Of greater than 100 galleries from all over the world collaborating in Frieze, which is as soon as once more taking on the Coex Conference & Exhibition Heart, roughly one-fifth of them are Korean. As an entire, this Frieze has the standard names which are acquainted at any world artwork honest, however there are extra Japanese galleries than there have been final 12 months. (Maybe this Frieze record displays a number of the vitality felt on the Tokyo Gendai honest, whose debut occurred simply two months in the past.)
Frieze Seoul shouldn’t be the one honest going down proper now within the Coex heart. It coincides with Kiaf (Korea Worldwide Artwork Honest), which may be discovered on a distinct ground. That honest contains 200 galleries, 60 p.c of that are Korean.
In comparison with final 12 months, this Frieze Seoul is a extra composed affair. Whereas there are various newcomers in Seoul, the galleries now don’t appear as caught up within the pleasure of the primary second. Listed below are a number of the standout galleries and initiatives at this 12 months’s Frieze Seoul.
Having this week introduced its growth to Tokyo, Tempo placed on view is the 1997 work ON THE LINE OFF THE LINE, whose property the gallery lately started representing in Asia. The hanging textual content piece is complemented by one other work on the gallery’s Seoul location, the place one other Weiner work occupies one facet of the constructing’s exterior wall, and by different items at the moment on view within the artist’s survey exhibition on the Amorepacific Museum of Artwork, the place a few of his works have even been translated into Korean. That present opened on August 31, only a week earlier than the honest’s opening.
SCAI The Bathhouse
Tokyo’s SCAI The Bathhouse, now celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this 12 months, is making its debut in Seoul after many appearances in different worldwide artwork festivals. The sales space is a room stuffed with video installations by the Korean duo Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho. Increasing the artists’ works which have been offered at main museum exhibitions, the installations dynamically play off different works on show on the sales space, notably Tatsuo Miyajima’s set up and portray composed of blinking numbers and numerical dots.
The Trendy Institute
Of few galleries which have determined to not replenish their cubicles to the brim, Glasgow’s The Trendy Institute did it finest. The sales space’s primary house has one lengthy wood bench in its center; one can sit on it, lean again, and soak up a row of American painter Walter Value’s small works. Uniformly sized round 6 by 8 inches, these panels show Value’s capacity to provide photos that exist in that unspecified house between figuration and abstraction. It’s the right pitstop for the guests in want of a pause between the 2 nice exhibition halls of the Coex heart.
Getty PST ART with ikkibawiKrrr
Whereas it’s not solely unusual for enterprises that aren’t galleries to point out at festivals, there are actually extra of those contributors than there have been final 12 months at Frieze Seoul. ikkibawiKrrr, a Korea-based analysis band who figured in final 12 months’s Documenta, is exhibiting a brand new model of Seaweed Story (2002), a video and set up about haenyeo, or “sea girls” who harvest marine crops. Supported by the Getty Basis’s Pacific Customary Time initiative, whose science-themed 2024 version will see the band present at Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum, ikkibawiKrrr’s presentation additionally has one other part. As soon as a day all through the honest, the collective is staging the interactive efficiency Flavors of the Sea (2023). Particulars weren’t introduced upfront, but when it’s something like what the band is exhibiting already, it is going to deliver waves of individuals to the sales space.
ROH and Whistle
Because of Frieze Seoul, Asian galleries, who needed to depend on festivals like Frieze London to hyperlink up, can now collaborate within the South Korean capital. Because the first Frieze Seoul, Jakarta’s ROH and Seoul’s Whistle have been working collectively, sending artists to one another’s areas and becoming a member of forces for initiatives. Consequently, the 2 galleries are co-hosting a mixture of Korean and Indonesian artists of their sales space. Korean sculptor Hyun Nahm’s Extructed Mountain (Single Peak) (2020), for instance, reminds one of many artist’s go to to the volcanic area of Indonesia, whereas Indonesian artist Agus Suwage’s Educate Your Kids (2016), that includes a dog-headed human standing above a gaggle of beagles at its ft, is a touch upon each international locations’ sociopolitical climates.
The Focus Asia part options 10 Asia-based galleries established within the final 12 years, considered one of which is Cylinder. Established in 2020 in Seoul’s Bongcheon-dong district—not precisely the standard neighborhood for an artwork house for its form—Cylinder is probably going the youngest of those galleries. It was shaped in 2020, and is considered one of many artwork areas in Seoul run by a youthful era that’s arising after the fast rise and fall of Sin-saeng-gong-gan (“new-born-spaces”) between 2014 and 2016. These new artwork areas don’t place themselves as anti-market. Quite, they place themselves as galleries and actively pursue business actions whereas additionally doing the sort of experimental work anticipated of another house. At Frieze Seoul, Cylinder is exhibiting work by Sinae Yoo, a Korean-born artist who lives between Bern, Switzerland, and Seoul, providing a style of homegrown style of Asian accelerationism at its best.
Established in 2003 in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Galerie Quynh has been selling Vietnamese up to date artwork for 20 years. Throughout this time, Vietnam turned an financial powerhouse of the Southeast Asian area, thanks partially to its dynamic financial relationship with South Korea. The gallery’s first participation in Frieze Seoul brings two Vietnam-based painters, Do Thanh Lang and Will Thurman, to showcase the youthful era of the nation’s artwork scene. Each had been born within the late Nineteen Eighties, and each painting the blended emotions that come life residing in the present day in figurative work that hew into abstraction. Galerie Quynh has labored with Korean collectors beforehand, and its attain is simply more likely to develop sooner or later due to festivals like Frieze.
The Accra-based Gallery 1957 has as its said mission the aim of bringing West African artists to the world, and right here it’s making debut with a cohesive group presentation that includes works by Amoako Boafo, Gideon Appah, Kwesi Botchway, Joana Choumali, Tegene Kunbi, Kaloki Nyamai, and Nadia Waheed. A few of these artists, like Appah and Choumali, have had their works proven extensively overseas, however hardly ever have they been seen in locales just like the Korean capital. Of specific curiosity is Amoako Boafo’s White Overgrip (2023), exhibiting an individual enjoying tennis.
Artwork honest cubicles serve totally different functions that vary, from rapid business beneficial properties to merely selling artists and their practices. Kurimanzutto’s second Frieze Seoul sales space fulfills each on the similar time, bringing acquainted names of the worldwide artwork scene to town within the hopes of constructing gross sales and increasing their followings. Gabriel Orozco’s delicate piece composed of tempera and gold leaf on canvas, Rirkrit Tiravanija’s piece crafted from gold leaf on newspaper on linen, Haegue Yang’s sculpture product of bells and hanji paper, and Adrián Villar Rojas’s 3D-printed organisms are among the many works that may be seen right here. A few of these artists have been exhibited at institutional exhibitions and biennials in Korea and the encircling area, but the honest ought to solely serve to develop their fan bases right here.
With the arrival of Frieze Seoul, Korean galleries have come to face a troublesome dilemma. Ought to they depart Kiaf, a good with a for much longer historical past in Seoul, and be part of Frieze? The questions has led main Korean galleries, akin to Gallery Hyundai, to retrace their origins—and to look again to Korean fashionable artwork’s roots extra typically. Gallery Hyundai’s presentation of Seundja Rhee (1918–2009) within the Frieze Masters part epitomizes this flip. Gifted but under-recognized in comparison with her male contemporaries, Rhee was a painter, engraver, and ceramicist. She belongs to a broader non-Western group of artists that moved to artwork capitals akin to Paris and New York within the mid-Twentieth century; some discovered success there, even when they didn’t acquire a central place within the Western artwork world. Her cosmic abstractions grew from her acknowledgment of being a lady and embracing a stability of fabric and spirituality, drawing the East and the West collectively in concord together with her canvases.