3 International Exhibitions by Korean Women Artists to Help You Get a Grip on South Korea’s Burgeoning Art Scene

The exhibitions are taking place in Seoul, Dubai, and Indianapolis.

Cha Jong Rye, Expose Exposed 190221. Courtesy of Long Sharp Gallery.
Cha Jong Rye, Expose Exposed 190221. Courtesy of Long Sharp Gallery.

The 18th annual Korean International Art Fair is about to kick off in Seoul this week (September 2629, 2019) with dozens of international galleries heading for the capital city of South Korea.

Coinciding with the event is the country-wide Korea Art Week (September 25October 9), which will bring together more than 250 museums, galleries, and art institutions for a national celebration of the arts.

Looking to get up to speed with the contemporary Korean art scene before you go? We’ve got you covered.  Here are 3 up-and-coming Korean contemporary artists with must-see gallery exhibitions on view this fall.


Haegue Yang in “When The Year 2000 Comes” at Kukje Gallery

Installation view of "When the year 2000 comes", 2019. Courtesy of Kukje Gallery.

Installation view of “When the year 2000 comes”, 2019. Courtesy of Kukje Gallery.

Based between Seoul and Berlin, Haegue Yang creates experimental artworks that trace the histories of seemingly unrelated historical figures and events, forming, in the process, high personal artworks. Her current exhibition takes its name from the Korean singer Hae-kyung Min’s song “AD 2000,” first released in 1982, which plays as visitors enter the gallery. The song’s hopeful vision for a distant future meets a memory of an equally distant past. This liminal space is where Yang works best, creating a space for imagination with her childhood crayon and watercolor drawings filled with images of monsters and long-extinct creatures.

When The Year 2000 Comes” is on view through November 17, 2019, at Kukje Gallery, 54 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu Seoul


Ran Hwang in “The Flight of Time” at Leila Heller Gallery

Ran Hwang, <i>Healing Forest</i>(20180. Courtesy of Leila Heller Gallery.

Ran Hwang, Healing Forest (2018). Courtesy of Leila Heller Gallery.

“The Flight of Time,” the artist’s first exhibition with Leila Heller, presents a curated selection of works from across Hwang’s career that address the artist’s recurring preoccupation with the passage of time. The fleeting impermanence of life, embodied by her “Plum Blossom” series, is juxtaposed with more recent “Buddha” and “Temple” works that consider time and its subjectivity through the lenses of spirituality and religion. Hwang addresses such cosmic questions through delightfully quotidian materials like buttons, pins, and beads (she began her career working in an embroidery design studio) and her labor-intensive practice mixes traditional women’s work and handicraft with monk-like concentration.

Ran Hwang: The Flight of Time” is on view through November 7, 2019, at Leila Heller Gallery, I-87, Alserkal Avenue Al Quoz 1, Dubai


Cha Jong Rye in “Sculptural Landscapes” at Long-Sharp Gallery

Cha Jong Rye, <i>Expose Exposed 110915</i>(2019). Courtesy of Long Sharp Gallery.

Cha Jong Rye, Expose Exposed 110915 (2019). Courtesy of Long Sharp Gallery.

For over 20 years, Cha Jong Rye has been sculpting rhythmic, almost fabric-like sculptures from wood. To create these materially confounding sculptures, Rye sands, carves, and layers hundreds of delicate wood boards. Though visually complex and ultimately cohesive, Rye never starts with a premeditated design in mind, instead letting herself discover the intricacies of the wood and its patterns in her process. This exhibition present 10 new sculptures and marks Rye’s first exhibition in the United States in over seven years.

Cha Jong Rye: Sculptural Landscapes” is on view through October 26, 2019, at Long-Sharp Gallery, 1 North Illinois, Suite A, Indianapolis 

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.