Image: Beyond Frieze Seoul, here are the exhibitions you don’t want to miss while in the capital of South Korea
Zadie Xa’s “Tricksters, Mongrels, Beasts” (2023) (Photo: courtesy of Space K)
Featured in Tatler Asia

Beyond Frieze Seoul, here are the exhibitions you don’t want to miss while in the capital of South Korea

3 September 2023

Heading to South Korea for Frieze Seoul? Don't miss these exhibitions at White Cube, Space K and more during Frieze week.

One of last year's most buzzy events, Frieze Seoul is back for its second edition this month. With numerous galleries, art spaces, and museums Seoul has many cultural offerings beyond art fairs. Sotheby's auction house recently announced they were opening a space in the city, and White Cube gallery will inaugurate their new Seoul space during the coming art week. A host of other art events, ranging from exhibition openings to art fair parties, is set to sweep the city. These are Tatler's top picks.

The Embodied Spirit, White Cube

Joining the legion of international galleries that opened spaces in Seoul last year, White Cube will inaugurate its newly opened Seoul gallery in the city’s Gangnam district this autumn with The Embodied Spirit, an exhibition featuring the works of seven female artists. The show includes White Cube stalwarts, including Indonesian artist Christine Ay Tjoe, known for her abstract sublime paintings; Marguerite Humeau, whose surreal minimal sculptures were seen at last year’s Venice Biennale; and, of course, the most familiar name on the roster, Tracey Emin, who’s most recognised these days for her neon light phrases. The show will also include sculptures by Belgian artist Berlinde de Bruyckere and German artist Katharina Fritsch, paintings by Louise Giovanelli, who started working with the gallery last year, and works by Korean artist Jinju Lee, known for her paintings on fabric, the content of which is often inspired by the nature of memory and our subconscious.  

Zadie Xa, Nine Tailed Tall Tales: Trickster, Mongrel, Beast, Space K

London-based Korean Canadian artist Zadie Xa’s colourful artworks will take over Space K, a non-profit art space established in 2011 in an effort to foster cultural awareness within the local community. Entitled Nine Tailed Tall Tales: Trickster, Mongrel, Beast, the exhibition came about from the artist’s interest in the anthromorphised, hybrid and mythical creatures found in folklore. The words “Trickster”, “Mongrel”’ and “Beast”’ have negative connotations and allude to marginalised figures in society, discriminated against for their “otherness”. In the exhibition, Xa celebrates such beings in an expansive, site-specific installation consisting of 33 new paintings and sculptures.

Artworks by Hayne Park, Goyoson and Rondi Park, White Noise

White Noise is a non-profit, experimental, community- driven art space known for boundary-pushing shows. An exhibition featuring work by artists Hayne Park and Goyoson will be on view during Frieze week, and the space’s booth at Frieze Seoul will feature a selection of works with a similar curatorial theme. The two presentations are based on the premise of challenging the idea of capitalism (at Frieze) and language (at the art space). At White Noise, Park’s glass sculptures and Goyoson’s ephemeral, delicate, near-invisible installations challenge perception, and in doing so reflect the contradictory nature of communication and language. Meanwhile, at its Frieze Seoul booth, White Noise will present the work of Rondi Park, whose paintings and performance will question how aesthetic values combine with the desire to find and maintain sincere relationships, which are often transactional in a capitalist world. Together, the three artists examine the contentious and often problematic nature of money and language in the art world.

Artworks by Donald Judd and Joseph Beuys, Thaddaeus Ropac

After opening a Seoul gallery in 2021, Thaddaeus Ropac has expanded and is set to open a new space on the ground floor of the same building. He will inaugurate the space with a special exhibition of works on paper by Joseph Beuys, the hugely influential German artist who was known for his “social sculptures” and for expanding the ideas and impact of what contemporary art could be and accomplish. The works are from the collection of Beuys’s family. Concurrently, another exhibition will open in the upstairs space, showcasing works by the eminent American sculptor Donald Judd.

Curated by Flavin Judd, the artist’s son and artistic director of the Judd Foundation, the exhibition will feature Judd’s minimalistic 3D creations, which invite visitors to rethink their relationship with space. Both artists had special ties to South Korea: Beuys through his friendship with the celebrated artist Nam June Paik, and Judd through the year he was stationed in Korea with the US army in 1947.

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