Big art week in Seoul: what to expect from art fairs, galleries and more

Seoul's art scene is expected to bustle with a wide selection of exhibitions and events opening next week.

These events coincide with the second edition of the international art fair Frieze Seoul that overlaps with the local art fair Kiaf.

Frieze Seoul, a prestigious contemporary art fair by leading art platform Frieze, kicks off Wednesday for a four-day run at the COEX convention center in southern Seoul while the annual Korean International Art Fair (Kiaf) Seoul, will take place at the same venue from Sept. 6-10.

Following a splashy debut last year, Frieze Seoul will feature an expanded list of 120 Asia-based galleries from 30 nations and a variety of cultural programs, including films, talk sessions and music events, for its sophomore outing.

A major highlight of this year's program is the inaugural edition of Frieze Music, which will feature Korean singer-songwriter Colde's live performance on Sept. 8 in partnership with BMW.

A special exhibition hosted by the Korean International Art Fair (Kiaf) Seoul is held at Incheon International Airport, South Korea's main gateway, west of Seoul, on Aug. 28, 2023. (Yonhap)

A special exhibition hosted by the Korean International Art Fair (Kiaf) Seoul is held at Incheon International Airport, South Korea's main gateway, west of Seoul, on Aug. 28, 2023. (Yonhap)

Kiaf Seoul, South Korea's largest art fair operated by the Galleries Association of Korea, will feature works by 210 galleries from 20 countries, including 140 local exhibitors.

As the art fairs are expected to bring artists, collectors and influential art figures together in the capital city, local galleries and museums are also set to present exhibitions of renowned artists, some of which having already opened this week.

On Thursday, Leeum Museum of Art, the nation's largest private gallery run by the Samsung Foundation of Culture, will open a solo exhibition by Kang Seo-kyeong, in partnership with Italian luxury brand Bottega Veneta.

Kang, who has participated in Biennale in Venice, Shanghai and Gwangju, will showcase her paintings, sculptures, installations and videos at the exhibition, titled "Willow Drum Oriole." This is the largest-ever exhibition for the Seoul-based visual artist.

Korean artist Kang Seo-kyeong's solo exhibition titled "Willow Drum Oriole" opens Sept. 7, 2023, at Leeum Museum of Art in Seoul, according to this poster provided by the museum. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Korean artist Kang Seo-kyeong's solo exhibition titled "Willow Drum Oriole" opens Sept. 7, 2023, at Leeum Museum of Art in Seoul, according to this poster provided by the museum. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

A retrospective of Korean abstract master Kim Whanki (1913-74) will continue through next week at the Hoam Museum of Art in Yongin, south of Seoul, another private gallery run by the Samsung Foundation.

On Wednesday, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Korea, opens an exhibition of Jung Yeon-doo, an artist chosen for this year's MMCA Hyundai Motor Series, a sponsorship program for eminent Korean artists.

A solo exhibition by Kim Ku-lim, a first-generation artist in the Korean avant-garde movement, has been running at the MMCA's Seoul branch since last week.

Korean avant-garde artist Kim Ku-lim explains his art work "Yin and Yang 91-L, 13" (1991), during a press conference held at The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea's Seoul branch in this file photo taken Aug. 24, 2023. (Yonhap)

Korean avant-garde artist Kim Ku-lim explains his art work "Yin and Yang 91-L, 13" (1991), during a press conference held at The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea's Seoul branch in this file photo taken Aug. 24, 2023. (Yonhap)

A special exhibition by American artist Lawrence Weiner (1942-2021), a pioneer in the conceptual art movement, kicked off at Amorepacific Museum of Art in central Seoul on Thursday.

It is the first large-scale exhibition to be held following his death and the first solo exhibition in South Korea.

On Wednesday, renowned contemporary artist Anish Kapoor's exhibition opened at Kukje Gallery in downtown Seoul, marking the British-Indian sculptor's first solo exhibition at the gallery since 2016.

At the adjacent Gallery Hyundai, Korean experimental artist Sung Neung-kyung has been showcasing a selection of 140 works spanning the artist's career in the form of a mini retrospective since last week.

Visitors to Sung's exhibition can participate in a 30-minute experimental performance of reading newspaper articles and cutting them out.

Beginning Friday, "Korea Art Week," co-hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Korea Arts Management Center, offers a series of special art projects and collaborative works at major art venues and tourist attractions across the country. The Seoul city government also runs a separate art program at various venues in the city during "Seoul Art Week," slated for Sept. 1-10.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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