Global galleries in Seoul open 2024 with focus on rising Korean creatives

Lehmann Maupin Seoul's 'Wonderland' features four Korean-born artists: You Guimi, Hyun Nahm, Ken Gun Min and Mie Yim. Courtesy of the artists and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul and London

A string of international blue-chip galleries that have made inroads into the Korean art scene in recent years through the opening of their Seoul outposts are kicking off 2024 with exhibitions spotlighting Korean-born creatives.Establishments such as Lehmann Maupin, Thaddaeus Ropac and Perrotin have mounted shows in Seoul with a primary emphasis on emerging painters and sculptors from the country, offering an established platform for these new names within the global — and, to some extent, casinositekingcom local — art community.Lehmann Maupin’s ‘Wonderland’Entering the Hannam-dong space of New York-headquartered Lehmann Maupin feels like being transported to a land of enchantment pulsating with swirling colors and textures.Aptly titled “Wonderland,” the gallery’s group exhibition brings together four Korean-born painters and sculptors from different generations — You Guimi, Hyun Nahm, Ken Gun Min and Mie Yim — who each conjure their own versions of beguiling utopias.“The works of these artists evoke a surreal wonderland, presenting spaces saturated with vivid hues and are seemingly futuristic. Paradoxically, these very images contain stories from the past — something forgotten and vanished that one longs to remember,” curator Tae Um said during a recent press preview.

Take the sumptuous canvas works of Los Angeles-based painter Min, for example. Through a mix of Western oil paints with Korean pigments, beads and embroidery threads, he summons scenes that, on the surface, exude brilliance and joy.But hidden behind their fantastical facade are still-obscured stories of queer identity, race and cultural assimilation. Among them are his own experience as a gay Asian first-generation immigrant, as well as the repressed modern history of Los Angeles, including the 1992 riots.“Through weaving and painting, I am working to create and share a tapestry of stories of those with little voice and power,” the artist said at the gallery.New York-based painter Yim similarly fills her canvas with luscious colors and imagery reminiscent of mutated organisms.The often-fragmented figures in her pieces recall the “diasporic, scattered existence” led by the 60-year-old in her youth — the abrupt migration from Korea to Hawaii in the 1970s, followed by frequent changes of residence in the United States during her teenage years — the curator said.“Wonderland” runs until Feb. 24.

A 10-minute ride from Lehmann Maupin will bring visitors to another group exhibition of rising Korean-born talents — this time, with more diverse mediums and a notably different ambiance — at Thaddaeus Ropac Seoul.Organized by Kim Sung Woo, who served as a co-curator for the 2018 Gwangju Biennale, “Nostalgics on realities” features six creatives across its two-floor space: Jesse Chun, Eugene Jung, Kwon Yong-ju, Minsun, Nam Hwa-yeon and Yang Yoo-yun.This marks the gallery’s second group show dedicated solely to artists of Korean descent, following last year’s three-person showcase, “Myths of Our Time.”“All of the artists here have previously been invited to participate in domestic and global biennials, including the Venice Biennale. Their body of work and visual language are certainly gaining attention within the (critical and academic) field. However, a certain distance still exists between such a world and the commercial realm,” Kim said.By bringing local creatives, who have already been “validated through” esteemed biennales, to a stage like Thaddaeus Ropac, the show could serve as a “tipping point,” bridging the 카지노사이트킹 gap between the art market and the art world in Korea, he told The Korea Times.

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