Seoul, Paris and Los Angeles are the art world’s latest hot spots, with a staggering amount of new galleries opening in these three cities. But it was Seoul where the art world was gathered last week, as Frieze Seoul kicked of its vibrant second edition.
Featuring more than 120 galleries from 30 countries around the globe, Frieze Seoul (September 6-9, 2023) returned to the Convention and Exhibition Center (COEX) in the city’s illustrious Gangnam district, marking its first fair here in the post-pandemic world. Taking place alongside Kiaf SEOUL (September 6-9, 2023), which is operated by the Galleries Association of Korea, the two fairs worked together to celebrate the city’s flourishing creative community.
Home to an impressive array of international art powerhouses—including Perrotin, White Cube, Pace, Thaddaeus Ropac, Gladstone, Esther Schipper, Lehmann Maupin and Whitestone—and such local gallery favorites as Kukje, Arario, Gana, Hakgojae, Hyundai, and PKM, the city had a few notable pop-ups in traditional Korean hanok houses this year. Lisson Gallery presented a group show of gallery artists, centered around the theme of time and its passing, in the heart of the Bukchon Hanok Village, while art advisor Lawrence Van Hagen mounted the exhibition “12 Masters,” featuring Calder, Kusama, Warhol and others, at the historic home of Korean design virtuoso Teo Yang.
“The strength of a fair like Frieze is the community that surrounds it. The addition of Frieze Seoul provides a platform for international audiences to engage with the city’s diverse cultural offerings, while also introducing local audiences to a cross-section of the best art from across the globe,” Frieze Seoul director Patrick Lee told Galerie. In addition to showcasing the region’s leading artists and galleries at the fair, we will continue to work with the various creative communities across the city—its institutions, non-profits, artists and beyond—to both celebrate and amplify Seoul’s distinct cultural landscape.”
Suki Seokyeong Kang at Kukje Gallery
The subject of a current solo show at the Leeum Museum of Art, where she is exhibiting paintings, sculptures, installations and videos that conceptually reference the medium of painting and modernist industrial design, Suki Seokyeong Kang is one of Korea’s leading contemporary artists—yet one who consistently mines the histories of pre-modern Korea. At the fair, Kukje Gallery and Tina Kim Gallery—operated by mother and daughter art dealers—presented wall-works from the coveted artist’s Mat series, which mix painted steel and traditional woven and dyed Hwamunseok mats with other materials such as leather scraps, to make highly engaging, grided abstractions, with the minimalist Mat #23-02 especially catching our eye.