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eazel curates: recommended exhibitions around Seoul during Frieze 2023

Eazel Magazine

Sep 01, 2023

Following the success of last year’s Seoul edition of Art and City curation, we return this year with a mini-version in time for Frieze Seoul 2023. Since the inauguration of Frieze in 2022, Seoul has been busy with more international galleries venturing into the capital of Korea to establish physical exhibition spaces, as well as existing galleries expanding within the city. White Cube and Whitestone Gallery opened in Seoul this year, Peres Projects has moved its location to one with impressive floor space, and Duarte Sequeira launched a second venue. 


Like any other art fairs, Frieze Seoul is not just about sales and collecting. It is also an opportunity to experience other art-related activities such as late-night openings, exhibitions in non-commercial institutions, and of course immersing into the city. While catching up with friends or colleagues, visit some of the eazel-recommended exhibitions around Seoul, with suggested eateries and cafes to keep you going. The article is curated in the order of late-night events during the art fair in three focal areas: Hannam, Cheongdam, and Samcheong. For a more enhanced and convenient experience, please download the Naver Map* to follow the links. 


*Download the map from your app store, it will make finding your way around Seoul a lot easier! 



Hannam (Hannam Night: Tue, Sep 5)



Lehmann Maupin

David Salle: World People (Sep 5 - Oct 28, 2023) 

213, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 04349


David Salle
Tree of Life, Gender Roles, 2023
© David Salle/VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Photo: Matthew Herrmann


Now located in the heart of Hannam, Lehmann Maupin is among the first international galleries to spread its roots to Seoul. The gallery opened its permanent space in the Samcheong area in 2017, moving to the current Hannam location in 2022 with a significant expansion. During the fair week, the gallery will show a solo presentation of David Salle, the youngest artist ever to have a mid-career survey exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1987, at the young age of 34. 


Titled World People, the upcoming exhibition will present new paintings by the American artist from the final chapter of his Tree of Life series, which began in 2020. The series is influenced by the late Peter Arno, a cartoonist for The New Yorker, who often made satirical caricatures about the city’s elite. Each painting portrays the scene in gestural and abstract brush strokes with distinctive colors that bring the narrative of the figures to life. The exhibition opens on Hannam Night through Oct 28, 2023.  



Leeum Museum of Art

Kim Beom: How to become a rock (Jul 27 - Dec 3, 2023) 

Kwon Hayoun: Strange Walkers (May 16 - Oct 15, 2023)

Suki Seokyeong Kang: Willow Drum Oriole (Sep 7 - Dec 31, 2023)

60-61, Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 04348 


Kwon Hayoun
Strange Walkers (still from VR installation), 2023 
Courtesy of the artist


At a ten-minute walk from Lehmann Maupin is the Leeum Museum of Art. It was founded in 2004 by Samsung Foundation of Culture, under the name of Samsung Museum of Art, with an aim not only to represent contemporary art in Korea, but also to preserve Korean cultural heritage and offer the public the chance to experience high quality exhibitions. As one of the leading art institutions in the country, it strives to reflect the present through understanding the past, with its expansive collection of traditional, modern and contemporary art. 


There are two main shows on at the moment: How to become a rock by Kim Beom, and Strange Walkers by Kwon Hayoun. Kim’s exhibition presents over 70 works from the 1990s to the mid-2010s, as well as some works that have never been shown in Korea. In the museum’s first-ever VR-based exhibition, Kwon uses cutting-edge technology to blur the boundaries between the real and virtual, inviting the audience to re-think the notion of traditional painting in the context of contemporary art. In addition, Suki Seokyeong Kang’s solo exhibition titled Willow Drum Oriole will be on view at the Leeum Museum of Art from Sep 5 through Dec 31, 2023. 



Gallery Baton 

Jaeseok Lee: Exceptionally Complex, Yet Elegantly Engineered. (Aug 23 - Sep 27, 2023) 

116, Dokseodang-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04420


Installation view of Jaeseok Lee’s Exceptionally Complex, Yet Elegantly Engineered. at Gallery Baton, Seoul (Aug 23 - Sep 27, 2023) 
Courtesy of Gallery Baton, Seoul


Less than a ten-minute taxi ride from Leeum Museum of Art, Gallery Baton is located on the other side of Hannam. Founded in 2011, the gallery presents contemporary artists from around the world, its commitment to curatorial aspects giving extra depth to featured exhibitions. Gallery Baton also runs two alternative spaces, Observation Deck, and Chapter II. The former focuses on supporting video and new media works, and the latter is dedicated to non-for-profit programs that offer curatorial support and exhibition opportunities to artists.   


An exhibition by Jaeseok Lee opened at the gallery on Aug 23 with the title Exceptionally Complex, Yet Elegantly Engineered., which displays a new series of works by the artist. Lee explores the mechanism of nature and social structure through his paintings, and the show offers an opportunity to step into the surreal world of symbols that stems out from the artist’s experience in the army. The exhibition is on throughout Frieze week and will continue until Sep 27, 2023.




Sungsil Ryu: Big King Airlines New Engine Fundraising Drive (Sep 2 - Oct 1, 2023)

24 Hangang-daero 48-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 04382


Sungsil Ryu
The Burning Love Song (still from the video), 2022 
Courtesy of the artist 


Not strictly in Hannam, but in the neighboring Yongsan area, CYLINDER TWO is a second space by CYLINDER, a young gallery that opened in late 2020. CYLINDER plays a double role of alternative and commercial space, contributing to the diverse ecology of Korean contemporary art. The gallery also acts as a transitional space between different stages of represented artists' careers, as well as a bridge for the public to experience art in a more welcoming environment. 


Opening on Sep 2, Big King Airlines New Engine Fundraising Drive at CYLINDER TWO is a solo show by Sungsil Ryu, introducing the artist’s new video and painting, which are intertwined with her previous series. Through her distinctive approach with multidisciplinary media, Ryu addresses contemporary societal matters, all the while infusing her artwork with a subtle yet incisive dark humor. 



Cafe: Hannam Atelier

The cafe is run by the photographer, painter, and folk artist, Huh Myoung-wook, who also exhibits his work there. Lemongrass Ginger Tea is highly recommended with a side of Lemon Cream cake. All desserts and drinks come in cups and plates Huh personally makes and lacquers. 


Restaurant: Soom Rice Bar 

This restaurant serves the freshest ingredients as toppings on rice: various seafood, pork, beef, and vegetables. Optional at the end of the meal is Chazuke, where vegetable-based stock is poured onto any remaining rice for patrons to finish it off.



Cheongdam (Cheongdam Night: Wed, Sep 6)





PANORAMA: group exhibition  (Aug 16 - Oct 28, 2023)

441 Dosan-Daero, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul 06016


Installation view of PANORAMA at SONGEUN, Seoul (Aug 16 - Oct 28, 2023) 
Courtesy of SONGEUN, Seoul


Art foundation SONGEUN was established in 1989 with a mission to support and foster emerging artists. One of the best known programs the foundation runs that continues its legacy today is SONGEUN Art Award, which aids in furthering the practices of awardee artists. In 2021, the foundation moved to its current location in the center of Cheongdam area, surrounded by luxury fashion houses and high end bars and restaurants. The new building was designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the architecture firm that converted the old Bankside Power Station in London into Tate Modern in 1994. 


SONGEUN is presenting 16 artists in a group exhibition titled PANORAMA, showing a wide range of media, such as performance and sound installations, to celebrate and mark the ever-growing Korean contemporary art scene. Touching upon different subject matters in society through testing the boundaries of the medium they use, the participating artists include Grim Park, Jaye Rhee, Jeon Hyunsun, and Hong Seung-Hye, among others. 



Espace Louis Vuitton

Cindy Sherman: On Stage - Part II (Jun 30 - Sep 17, 2023)

454 Apgujung-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06015


Installation view of Cindy Sherman’s On Stage - Part II at Espace Louis Vuitton, Seoul (Jun 30 - Sep 17, 2023) 
Courtesy of Espace Louis Vuitton, Seoul


Just around the corner from SONGEUN is Espace Louis Vuitton, run by one of the most recognisable fashion brands in the world. It is Seoul’s go-to art space to see exhibitions by internationally renowned artists. Espace Louis Vuitton is on the top floor of Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul, which was inaugurated in 2019. The flagship store was designed by architect Frank Ghery, with a glass exterior that is mesmerizing to look at during night time. 


The space offers the public a chance to see the foundation’s extensive collection with curated exhibitions featuring established artists such as Gerhard Richter and Alex Katz. Espace Louis Vuitton is currently showing American artist Cindy Sherman’s On Stage - Part II, where the audience can witness the artist’s oeuvre of self-portrait photographs taken in various styles. Sherman’s practice crosses reality and imagination, her portraits shifting from a historical figure in an old master’s painting, to a clown. 



ONE AND J. Gallery

MeeNa Park: House (Sep 1 - Oct 22, 2023)

83-21 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06014


Installation view of MeeNa Park's House at ONE AND J. Gallery, Seoul (Sep 1 - Oct 22, 2023) 
Courtesy of ONE AND J. Gallery, Seoul


ONE AND J. Gallery’s new space is less than a ten minute walk from Espace Louis Vuitton, making a departure from Samcheong area, where the gallery operated for just shy of two decades. It will now be based in Cheongdam and is scheduled to open with MeeNa Park’s solo exhibition, House, which will present the artist’s old and new works. Through the exhibition, Park will attempt to intertwine all the series of work that she has been working on for over 20 years. 


MeeNa Park also has another solo exhibition in the area, titled Nine Colors & Nine Furniture at Atelier Hermès. Her recent paintings on display at the show are made of 1-cm wide strips of paint that have the terms black, blue, green, gray, orange, red, violet, white or yellow in their names. When combined, these individual colors add up to 1,134 strips carefully painted by the artist. Although aesthetically minimal, Park examines the role of colors in day-to-day environments, such as in mass-produced goods, with a critical approach. 



Duarte Sequeira

Emanuel de Carvalho: transfer / new state (Sep 6 - Oct 20, 2023)

2F, 27, Dosan-daero 54-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06056

*Pieter Schoolwerth: Displacement Map (Sep 5 - Oct 28, 2023)

114 Deoksugung-gil, Joong-gu, Seoul 04519 (*The gallery's new second exhibition space. Please note the address.) 


Emanuel de Carvalho
neurotanz, 2023
Courtesy of the artist and Duarte Sequeira, Braga and Seoul


A five-minute taxi ride from ONE AND J. Gallery’s new venue is Duarte Sequeira. It was founded in 2019 in Braga, Portugal and its first international expansion directed it to Seoul in 2022. With another venue opening in the Korean city during Frieze week, it is dedicated to fostering both emerging and established artists for the local audience. 


The gallery is preparing to present Emanuel de Carvalho’s solo exhibition transfer / new state, opening during Cheongdam night, and including a site-specific installation with a newly-composed sound piece. Exploring the hierarchies of power that influence people’s identity and perspectives, the exhibition will attempt to reveal the complexities of contemporary life. The gallery’s new exhibition space, Deoksu Palace, will have its inauguration with Pieter Schoolwerth’s solo exhibition titled Displacement Map, showcasing paintings and animated videos from the artist’s Rigged project. Using complex techniques, Schoolwerth distorts reality with innovative approaches to the concept of painting.  



Geomang Creative Studio (GCS)

Dan Kim: BULGASARI (Aug 10 - Sep 10, 2023)

2nd FL, Apgujeong-ro 2gil 11, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06027


Installation view of Dan Kim's BULGASARI at Geomang Creative Studio, Seoul (Aug 10 - Sep 10, 2023)
Courtesy of Geomang Creative Studio, Seoul


Slightly off the Cheongdam area, but still located south of the river not too far from Espace Louis Vuitton, is Geomang Creative Studio (GCS), an experimental art platform that collaborates with artists, architects, designers and musicians across genres. GCS was founded in 2021, with the aim to understand contemporary phenomenons that are sometimes hard to define using existing terms. 


Dan Kim’s current solo exhibition at GCS is titled BULGASARI, the Korean word for starfish, a sea creature famous for its ability to self-regenerate lost body parts. As the title suggests, Kim’s work is connected to the process of re-birthing discarded materials, specifically cracked and shattered pottery made by other artists. As the disposed artworks are reassembled and re-fired in a new kiln, they come to hold new meanings and forms. 



Cafe: Standard System 

With ten high quality varieties of beans that can be served with diverse extraction methods, it is the perfect cafe to catch your breath in between exhibitions. Hand drip coffees are highly recommended here, with talented baristas who are meticulous with the process, resulting in a clean taste. 


Restaurant: White Wine Garage 

With an extensive wine list and a range of small to large dishes to share, this wine bar is a perfect place to wind down at the end of the day. The ceviche is a must-try with a bottle of light Chablis, and the beef rib is to die for as a companion for your favorite Pinot Noir.



Samcheong (Samcheong Night: Thu, Sep 7)






PKM Gallery 

Koo Jeong A: Levitation (Sep 6 - Oct 14, 2023)

40, Samcheong-ro 7-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 03049 Korea 


Koo Jeong A
Density, 2023
Courtesy of the artist and PKM Gallery, Seoul 


Boasting impressive showrooms, with the ceiling at the main gallery space being 5.5-meters high, PKM Gallery opened its doors to the public in 2001. Presenting exhibitions by contemporary artists from Korea and beyond, the gallery has been a cornerstone of the Samcheong area since 2014, when it relocated to the current space from Hwa-dong. 


During Frieze week, PKM Gallery will launch Koo Jeong A’s solo exhibition titled Levitation, showcasing the artist’s work from her perspective of “Nothing is merely ordinary”. Through the exhibition, Koo will open up and suggest possibilities for crossing boundaries between opposing concepts such as existence and non-existence. The exhibition includes her recent drawings, 3D printed sculptures, and installations, and will run through Oct 14, 2023. 



Art Sonje Center

off-site: group exhibition (Aug 18 - Oct 8, 2023) 

Nina Beier and Bob Kil: Field Trip (Sep 1- 10, 2023)

87 Yulgok-ro 3-gil, Jongno-gu Seoul 03062


Installation view of off-site at Art Sonje Center, Seoul (Aug 18 - Oct 8, 2023)
Courtesy of Art Sonje Center, Seoul


Art Sonje Center is situated in the heart of Samcheong area, promoting artistic innovation and cultural diversity in Korea since the late 1990s. Offering a wide range of programs such as exhibitions and educational activities, Art Sonje Center advocates for the importance of contemporary art and its role in society. 


A group exhibition titled off-site shows works of six artists (teams) who experiment with the concept of spatiality as a method to conjure their own formative visual language and sculptural practice. Another exhibition at Art Sonje Center is Bob Kil and Nina Beier’s duo-show titled Field Trip, which is on for ten days from Sep 1- 10, 2023. The exhibition is a combination of performance and installation, questioning the meaning of sculpture by testing the limitations of the relationship between body and environment. 



Gallery Hyundai

Botched Art: the meanderings of Sung Neung Kyung (Aug 23 - Oct 8, 2023) 

Sarah Morris: Pinecones and Corporations (Sep 7 - Oct 8, 2023)

14 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03062


Sung Neung Kyung
Reading Newspaper, 2023 
Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Hyundai, Seoul 


On the other side of Samcheong area is Gallery Hyundai, a fifty-plus year old contemporary art gallery that has been playing a pivotal role in Korea’s modern and contemporary art scene since 1970. Initially located in the neighboring area of Insadong, the gallery moved to its current location in 1975. Gallery Hyundai has two solo exhibitions that will be on view during Frieze week, each by Sung Neung Kyung and Sarah Morris respectively. With Morris’ show opening on Samcheong Night on the Thursday of Frieze week, it is an unique opportunity to see the wine restaurant Dugahun (located in the back garden of the gallery) lit up during night time. 


Botched Art: the meanderings of Sung Neung Kyung is the first collaboration between the Gallery Hyundai and the artist, showcasing 140 works including Kyung’s Venue series from the 1980s, in which photos are re-edited from newspapers and transformed into site-specific photo-installations. Sarah Morris’ Pinecones and Corporations is the artist’s first exhibition in thirteen years since her last show with the gallery in 2010, and will present around 20 paintings and films. 



Peres Projects

Paolo Salvador: Misterios inscritos en tela (Sep 7 - Nov 12, 2023)

Kiyan Williams: Between Starshine and Clay (Sep 7 - Nov 12, 2023)

37 Yulgok-ro 1-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03062


Installation view of Kiyan Williams' A Past That is Future Tense at Peres Projects, Milan (Jun 8 - Jul 14, 2023)
Courtesy of Peres Projects, Berlin, Seoul and Milan


Just around the corner from Hyundai Gallery is Peres Projects, the newest addition to Samcheong area. Originally founded in San Francisco in 2002, the gallery soon found a new home in Berlin by 2005. In recent years, the gallery opened spaces in Seoul and Milan, expanding its endeavors regarding experimental practices in contemporary art. 


Also opening on Samcheong night are two solo exhibitions at the gallery. Showing his first solo exhibition with Peres Projects in Seoul (his fourth with the gallery), Paolo Salvador will present Misterios inscritos en tela. In this show, the audience will see the artist’s new works including a triptych that tells the story of his practice, the three pieces connected by a color. The other solo exhibition is by Kiyan Williams, Between Starshine and Clay, which shares the same title as the centerpiece sculpture in hardened earth and sandstone. Exploring the concept of “ruined” body, the exhibition examines materials within their historical context.  



Ilmin Museum of Art

Issy Wood: I Like To Watch (Sep 7 - Nov 12, 2023)

152 Sejongdaero, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03187


Issy Wood 
Porsche driver starter pack, 2023 
© Issy Wood, 2023; courtesy of the artist, Carlos/Ishikawa, London, and Michael Werner Gallery, New York
Photo: Damian Griffiths
Image provided by Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul


In less than a ten-minute taxi ride towards the city hall, Ilmin Museum of Art stands tall, its building designated a cultural asset by the government. Though the museum opened its door to the public in 1996, the history of the building goes back almost a century ago to 1926, when it was initially designed to be the headquarters of Dong-A Ilbo (one of the biggest newspapers of Korea). The museum puts on a diverse range of exhibitions beyond contemporary art, collaborating with other fields such as design and architecture. 


Not to miss on Samcheong night is the opening of the solo exhibition by Issy Wood titled I Like To Watch, where the artist will hold her first show in Korea with 47 works including new works, installations, and video works. Wood’s reality opens up new possibilities for the medium of painting that deals with form and expression. 



Cafe: Coffee Bronze

For a coffee that is strong yet smooth on the palate, a piccolo at Coffee Bronze will satisfy the mid-afternoon itch for a pick-me-up. The cafe’s fresh cream cake with seasonal fruit is also a perfect match with any choice of coffee. 


Restaurant: Hwangsaengga

Hearty soup with mouth filling dumplings, Hwangsaengga will hit all the right spots. One of the oldest restaurants in the area with over 20 years of business, it is the perfect place to taste a little bit of Korea. 



For more in-depth reads about Seoul, Art and City - Seoul Part I and Art and City - Seoul Part II are accessible on eazel's Curation section.