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Kyungah Ham at Frieze Seoul

What to Know about the Inaugural Edition of Frieze Seoul

Frieze is hosting its first-ever fair on the Asian continent, taking place from September 2—5 in Seoul at the city’s underground mall, COEX. Presented with support from global lead partner Deutsche Bank, the fair will debut under the care of Director Patrick Lee with a roster of more than 110 galleries hailing from 20 countries. Alongside the main gallery presentations, viewers will find a sector for Frieze Masters and the specially curated Focus Asia platform.

Hejumba Hejum Bä, “Table-turning,” 2020, acrylic and oil on canvas, 162.2×193.9×4 cm, courtesy of Hejum Bä and Whistle.

“It has been truly exciting to work with all our participating galleries on our first fair in Asia,” said Lee. “There is a powerful sense of anticipation that gives every indication of the strong appetite for Frieze Seoul, and we are really looking forward to welcoming everyone to celebrate the creative life of the city this September.”

With 90 presenters making up the main exhibition floor, fairgoers can expect a large lineup of art spaces based in Asia, along with major global gallery names, and 15 galleries participating in their first Frieze edition. Among these are the likes of Bank, Don Gallery, Nature Morte, Mariane Ibrahim, Taka Ishii Gallery, Gagosian, Châtteau Shatto, Kukje Gallery, Esther Schipper, Empty Gallery, Blum & Poe, TKG+, Vadehra Art Gallery, Carlos/Ishikawa, Michael Werner, kurimanzutto, Lehmann Maupin, Gladstone Gallery, and STPI.

Frieze Masters, headed by Director Nathan Clements-Gillespie, brings together collectible objects and significant works by Old Masters and artists working before the 21st. With 18 presenting galleries, highlights include Axel Vervoordt, Castelli Gallery, Daniel Crouch Rare Books, and Acquavella Galleries.

Kyungah Ham at Frieze Seoul Kyungah Ham, “What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities BC 02-05,” 2015 / 2016, North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middleman, anxiety, censorship, ideology, wooden frame, 265,5 x 362 cm; courtesy of the artist and carlier | gebauer, Berlin/Madrid.

Meanwhile, curatorial advisors Christopher Lew and Hyejung Jang have selected for Focus Asia 10 single artist booths from galleries based on the continent that have opened during or after 2010. Rana Begum has work with Mumbai’s Jhaveri Contemporary; Whistle, Seoul shows the work of Hejum Bä; Osamu Mori is on view with the Tokyo gallery Parcel; the Tehran-based Dastan Gallery presents the work of Ali Beheshti, and more.

Those planning to visit the fair should also look out for Frieze Week happenings around the city, including the fair Kiaf and exhibitions at top galleries and institutions like the Seoul Museum of Art and the newly-opened Pace Gallery.

Roy Lichtenstein Roy Lichtenstein, “Profile Head,” 1988, painted and patinated bronze, 36 5/8 x 22 ½ x 9 ½ inches (93 x 57.2 x 24.1 cm) / Edition of 6, courtesy of the Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.




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