The Korea Herald


[What to See] Cheongdam-dong galleries bring together must-see shows

By Park Yuna

Published : April 27, 2024 - 16:01

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A number of galleries in Cheongdam-dong in southern Seoul, an area known for posh shops, fine dining and art galleries, have simultaneously opened new shows, making a weekend stroll in the area a perfect time to check out the galleries' latest shows. If you need to grab a drink while gallery hopping, you can easily find unique cafes in the neighborhood as well.

An installation view of “Dongwook Suh: Saturn Comes An installation view of “Dongwook Suh: Saturn Comes" at One and J Gallery (Courtesy of the gallery)

Melancholy yet beautiful at One and J Gallery

Korean painter Suh Dong-wook imbues the melancholy we all face in our daily lives with emotion and beauty. He has explored the medium of portrait painting since the mid-2000s. In the solo exhibition “Dongwook Suh: Saturn Comes,” he reinterprets melancholy from the perspective of romanticism.

“Is only that which is smooth and shiny considered beautiful? For me, I include melancholy within the category of the beautiful.” Suh says.

The painting “TV Watches Me I–III (2023–2024)” depicts human figures who stare mindlessly while television sets show blank white screens because they are not tuned to the right channel. The people in the paintings are actors who were given a description of a certain situation to act out. He then painted the scene. The exhibition runs through Sunday.

An installation view of “Invisible to the Naked Eye” at G Gallery (Courtesy of the gallery) An installation view of “Invisible to the Naked Eye” at G Gallery (Courtesy of the gallery)

'Invisible to the Naked Eye' at G Gallery

Korean artist Jang Hyo-joo’s installation at solo exhibition “Invisible to the Naked Eye” embodies the artist’s question of whether the derivative images we encounter digitally can have the same texture and meaning as their corresponding objects in the real world. The exhibition asks audiences what it is like living in the gap between reality and the virtual world.

Diverse forms of silicone sculptures dominate the space, hanging on walls or suspended from the ceiling. Only the surface is seen by the naked eye, and any tactile or other sensory experiences are left to the viewer's imagination.

The exhibition, which runs through May 11, is part of the gallery’s project, “Great Exhibition 2024," which supports young Korean artists.

An installation view of An installation view of "Sinnwild" at Tang Contemporary Art in Seoul (Courtesy of the gallery)

German artist Jonas Burgert at Tang Contemporary Art

German artist Johan Burgert is particularly interested in “subtexts,” starting with the question, "what lies beneath people?" He explores contemporary life and human existence in his artwork. His works feature strange figures in unusual attire, painted faces and ambiguous objects, with shimmering colors and grotesque forms emphasizing the balance between memory and imagination.

Burgert’s solo exhibition at Tang Contemporary Art in Seoul features the artist’s masterpiece, “Viechlast,” which is 7 meters wide and 3.6 meters tall. The exhibition is curated by British curator Tom Morton.

“Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? These urgent questions formed the title of a work by the French Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin, which he completed in 1898. Over a century and a quarter later, humanity is still looking for the answers … Gauguin’s questions also seem to be perennially on the lips of the figures in Burgert’s paintings,” the gallery wrote on the exhibition. The show runs until May 25.