The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art,
Korea (MMCA, director Youn Bummo), is pleased to announces an upcoming solo exhibition of Haegue
Yang for the MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2020. Known for
her hybrid sculptures and large-scale abstract installations that interweave
global narratives with industrially manufactured, domestic, and folkloric
materials, Yang addresses themes that recur in her work such as the
relationship between narration and abstraction, domesticity, migration, and
Based in Seoul and Berlin, Haegue Yang (b.1971, Seoul)
has developed an expansive body of work since the 1990s and is a professor at
the Städelschule in Frankfurt, her alma mater. She has participated in
international art exhibitions including the Venice Biennale and Documenta 13.
An acclaimed contemporary artist, Yang’s work has been exhibited and acquired
by renowned museums including the Centre Pompidou, Museum Ludwig, MoMA, and
Tate Modern. In 2018, she won the Korean Culture and Arts Award (presidential
commendation) and was the first Asian female artist to be honored with the
Wolfgang Hahn Prize.
Director of the MMCA Youn Bummo notes that “Yang’s
oeuvre is lauded for its powerful aesthetics as well as an intellectual depth
that ventures beyond simplistic or didactic readings.” Yang has interpreted a
broad spectrum of cultural references that encompass historic figures, events,
and natural and societal phenomena using her mesmerizing yet rigorous visual
languages. By dislodging these unfamiliar references from the chronology of
linear time and reframing them, her works enable viewers to consider the
present anew. Mass-produced commodities and labor-intensive processes are
simultaneously employed in many of her pieces.
The mode of Yang’s work is essentially inclusive by
implying layers of multiplicities. She adopts sociocultural approaches in
dealing with notions such as domesticity and craft, and chooses mysticism over
modernist rationalism, developing her own abstract methodology based on
geometric modulations. Notions pertaining to culture, civilization, eras, and
time are questioned and reconfigured within her works. While world history has
been compartmentalized through geopolitics since modernism, Yang proposes to
reconsider this fragmentary and hegemonic perspective in a reflective manner.
Mobilizing abstract parameters such as grids and orbits she attempt to envision
the world overlap, reflect, and multiply as a non-hierarchic kaleidoscope to
overcome boundaries. The artist’s unique matrix of diagrams mutate the physical
spaces of the museum’s architecture into a complexity of perspectives.
A new sculptural ensemble, Quartet of Sonic Sculptures
(working title), uses household objects to engage with “domesticity,” a
longstanding subject of artistic inquiry. Amplified, expanded, and transformed
to anthropoid scale, the everyday objects are imbued with the metaphoric and
speculative presence of human life. Other new works presented in this
exhibition are a digital mural and a large-scale advertising balloon
installation thematizing natural phenomena, which extends her previous
exploration of immaterial sensorial elements.
A large-scale venetian blind installation, Silo
of Silence—Clicked Core, an approx. ten-meter-tall kinetic sculpture
will be presented in Seoul Box, which represents the recent development in
Yang’s blind installations since its inception over fifteen years ago.
MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2020 will be held at MMCA Seoul from Saturday, 29 August 2020,
through Sunday, 17 January 2021, presenting approximately forty works, which
encompass a variety of installations, sculptures, and paintings. Within the
framework of this exhibition, a scholarly anthology, “Separating and Binding: A Collection of Writings on Haegue Yang,
2001–2020”, will be published prior to the exhibition in collaboration with
Hyunsilmunhwa, containing over thirty pieces of articles, conversations, and
essays. This anthology will offer connoisseurs, academic researchers, and the
wider public a comprehensive insight into Haegue Yang’s oeuvre.
■ MMCA HYUNDAI MOTOR
Hosted by the MMCA
and sponsored by Hyundai Motor, the MMCA Hyundai Motor Series is a ten-year
initiative launched in 2014 to support and feature annually mid-career Korean
showcase annually. The ambition of this initiative is to open up new perspectives and
possibilities for Korean contemporary art and to strengthen the foundation for
Korean mid-career artists. So far, the works of Lee Bul in 2014, Ahn Kyuchul in
2015, Kimsooja in 2016, Im Heung-soon in 2017, Choi Jeonghwa in 2018, and Park
Chan-kyong in 2019 have been presented within this framework.
The upcoming seventh
edition, the MMCA Hyundai Motor Series will showcase the works of Haegue
Yang (b. 1971, Seoul). A substantive exhibition of this nature in Korea will
offer local audiences a rare opportunity and an in-depth view of the works of
Yang, who has exhibited internationally as part of her twenty-five-year-long
The annual MMCA Hyundai Motor Series introduces
works by artists with distinctive perspectives in order to discern the current
state to and dynamics of Korean contemporary art. This initiative aims to
contribute continuously and substantially to the development of Korean
contemporary art as a representative case of corporate sponsorship, generating
mutually beneficial synergies between art and business.