The Korea Herald


Fabric installation artist Woo Hannah wins inaugural Artist Award at Frieze Seoul

By Park Yuna

Published : June 20, 2023 - 15:52

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Artist Woo Hannah (Frieze Seoul) Artist Woo Hannah (Frieze Seoul)

Korean artist Woo Hannah has been chosen to receive the inaugural Artist Award at Frieze Seoul, part of the global art fair’s curated program of special projects and collaborations, ahead of its upcoming second edition in September.

Woo’s winning commission, “The Great Ballroom,” is a large-scale fabric installation that conveys the changes of the human body. It will be installed at Coex in Seoul, suspended from the ceiling during the art fair. Frieze Seoul will take place Sept. 6 - 9 in collaboration with Kiaf Seoul, Korea’s long-standing art fair.

“‘We are thrilled Woo Hannah is the winner of the first Artist Award at Frieze Seoul. The initiative, which sees its Seoul debut this year, provides invaluable support and significant international visibility for an artist in the early stages of their career,” said Patrick Lee, director of Frieze Seoul.

A jury comprised of leading art figures selected the winner. The jury included the following: Reuben Keehan, curator of contemporary Asian art, the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, South Brisbane, Australia; Kim Sun-jung, Art Sonje Center artistic director; independent curator Koh Won-seok; independent curator, artist and professor at Ewha Womans University's College of Art and Design, Moon Kyung-won; and Seoul-based art critic Andrew Russeth.

"Milk and Honey" by Woo Hannah (Frieze Seoul)

Woo explores the inevitability of decay and the aging process rather than rejecting or lamenting them. Continuing the artist’s series, “Milk and Honey,” the fabric installation, “The Great Ballroom,” which brings to mind the shape of women’s breasts, will be draped from the ceiling. The fabric is also reminiscent of the hanging curtains in a ballroom, or a bat spreading its wings mid-air.

For the fabric installation, Woo visited small workshops and factories around Dongdaemun Market in Seoul to source recyclable fabric for each aspect of the work.

Frieze Seoul's annual award, supported by Bulgari, provides an emerging artist with a platform to debut a new commission at the art fair.

The second edition of the fair will be supported by LG OLED as its official headline partner.