Jung-Ah Woo

  • Jewyo Rhii, Moving Floor, 2013, mixed media, dimensions variable.

    Jewyo Rhii

    Another version of Jewyo Rhii’s solo exhibition “Night Studio,” curated by Sunjung Kim, was previously on view at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt under the title “Walls to Talk to.” The exhibition’s tour began in January 2013, but the journey behind the work began back in 2008, when the artist moved into an apartment on a market street in Itaewon, one of Seoul’s hippest commercial districts. Most of the twenty-two objects and fifteen installations on display were produced in this apartment during the nearly three years that she

  • Takashi Murakami, DOB in Pure White Robe (Pink & Blue), 2013, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas mounted on aluminium frame, 118 x 118".
    picks October 20, 2013

    Takashi Murakami

    At “Takashi in Superflat Wonderland”—Takashi Murakami’s first retrospective in Asia—the artist’s signature characters and motifs are not merely objects to be looked at but the constitution of a fabulously plastic wonderland. The walls are plastered with grinning flowers, a huge balloon of Mr. DOB dangles from the ceiling, and the curtain of the video room is speckled with jellyfish eyes.

    At the entrance of the main hall, life-size statues of Murakami’s Kaikai and Kiki flank Rodin’s massive sculpture The Gates of Hell, 1880–1917, which is part of the museum’s permanent collection. With their

  • Yayoi Kusama, The Obliteration Room, 2012, mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    picks October 03, 2013

    Yayoi Kusama

    The retrospective “A Dream I Dreamed” presents 118 of Yayoi Kusama’s installations, sculptures, and paintings, including thirty new works. Filling the immense space of both floors of this museum, the exhibition features seven large installations, including Infinity Mirrored Room, Gleaming Lights of the Souls, 2008, a space where viewers may feel as though they were floating into the center of a celestial galaxy. Opening the door to this small dark room, visitors are dazzled by an array of colorful lights that endlessly reflect off mirrored walls and the water on the floor. Indeed, throughout

  • View of “Data Curation,” 2013.

    “Data Curation”

    Back when Nam June Paik devised the video synthesizer—which allowed him to cut, paste, and mix video images—he declared, “As collage techniques replaced oil paint, the cathode ray tube will replace the canvas.” “Data Curation” represented the twenty-first-century update of Paik’s prophecy. Today, coding is replacing collage, and LED displays have already replaced the cathode-ray tube. The exhibition, curated by Jeungmin Noe, featured nineteen artists and art groups, mostly from South Korea and the US, working in diverse disciplines, including architecture, industrial design, fashion,

  • Yiso Bahc, Syllabi for Drawing Classes, ca. 2000, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    picks August 15, 2013

    “Learning Machine”

    The spirit of Fluxus is alive and well, as evidenced by “Learning Machine” at the Nam June Paik Art Center, which features around seventy works by twenty-one artists and teams, combining selections from the museum’s Fluxus collection with related works by contemporary artists. The exhibition is named after a 1969 diagram of academic disciplines by Fluxus initiator George Maciunas, which is displayed at the entrance. To critique the narrow specializations encouraged by conventional education systems, Maciunas reorganized fields of knowledge from an interdisciplinary perspective, emphasizing visual

  • Gimhongsok, Mr. Kim, 2012, resin, pants, sneakers, 69 5/8 x 49 1/4 x 18 1/8".

    Gimhongsok

    The Korean artist Gimhongsok garnered a huge amount of attention from the press for his 2008–2009 solo exhibition at the Kukje Gallery in Seoul, and his exposure reached well beyond the arts section. This was largely due to his notorious opening performance, Post-1945, 2008, for which he hired a prostitute to act like an “ordinary” visitor to the gallery, offering a cash prize to anyone who could identify her. His title suggested that the performance was meant as a satirical commentary on the capitalist ethos of postwar Korea, in which all human relations are mediated by monetary exchange.

    The

  • Choi Jeong Hwa, Kabbala, 2013, plastic baskets, steel frame. Installation view.
    picks May 01, 2013

    Choi Jeong Hwa

    Since his debut in the early 1990s, Choi Jeong Hwa has been a central figure in Korean contemporary art. Yet, “Kabbala” is his first exhibition in a museum. This curatorial omission is somewhat understandable; Choi has never been considered an artist per se. Rather, he’s more often seen engaged in the work of an interior designer, architect, industrial designer, art director, stage designer, and entrepreneur. At one point, Choi self-deprecatingly took on the moniker “AAA,” or “Always Almost Artist,” which today, after this sprawling exhibition, sounds almost as accurate.

    Kabbala, 2013, the

  • Kiwan Sung and Sookyung Lee, Hamba, 2012, vinyl, audio, cardboard, MP3 players, earphones, stools, dimensions variable.
    picks January 30, 2013

    “Your Invisible Shadow”

    “Your Invisible Shadow” is a group show featuring eight artists who utilize light, sound, and kinetic devices to incorporate the conventional white cube of the exhibition space into their installations. Two works in particular stand out: The first is Shadow You, 2012, a large screen hung in the entrance of the gallery over which architect Jieeun Hwang has projected a video of shadowy moving figures (all artists whom Hwang filmed for this project). Walking around the screen, one finds a desk on top of which Hwang has left notepads and pencils; visitors are encouraged to leave messages for the

  • Seahyun Lee, Between Red-141, 2012, 
oil on linen, 118 x 118”.
    picks December 15, 2012

    “(Im)Possible Landscape”

    In “(Im)Possible Landscape,” curated by Soyeon Ahn, fourteen artists from different generations and diverse backgrounds use various media to explore the meaning of “landscape.” Traditionally in Korea, landscape genre works (known as sansu, literally “mountain and water”) were meant to provide the literati with a virtual refuge from the hardships of reality, one they could access without having to leave their urban homes. The artists featured in this exhibition demonstrate, however, that a depiction can never provide a genuine escape from reality.

    Using digital photography, Hong-Goo Kang re-created