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Leading international galleries, auction house unveil spaces, shows in Seoul ahead of Frieze Seoul 2023

By Park Yuna

Published : Sept. 4, 2023 - 17:28

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An installation view of An installation view of "The Embodied Spirit" at White Cube Seoul (Courtesy of White Cube, Theo Christelis)

Renowned international galleries and an auction house, Sotheby’s, have opened new spaces in Seoul ahead of the second edition of Frieze Seoul which kicks off Wednesday.

Two newly arrived galleries -- Britain's White Cube and Japan’s Whitestone Gallery -- will unveil their spaces through group exhibitions in southern and northern Seoul, respectively.

White Cube will open an inaugural exhibition, “The Embodied Spirit,” directed by the gallery’s global artistic director Susan May on Tuesday at its gallery in Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul, White Cube's second permanent space in Asia. Its neighbors include SONGEUN Art and Cultural Foundation and the nonprofit Atelier Hermes gallery.

The gallery, which represents Korean artist Park Seo-bo, will show works by Korea’s emerging artist Lee Jin-ju at the inaugural group exhibition.

Whitestone Gallery in Seoul (Courtesy of Kim Hong-suk) Whitestone Gallery in Seoul (Courtesy of Kim Hong-suk)

Founded in 1967 in Tokyo, Whitestone Gallery runs eight galleries in Asia, including the Seoul gallery located in Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu, northern Seoul, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.

The gallery opened a group exhibition on Sunday, introducing emerging Japanese artist Miwa Komatsu, as well as Japanese avant-garde art selected by the gallery. The works mainly consist of the members of Gutai Art Association, a group of avant-garde artists who were influenced by the motto of their leader, Jiro Yoshihara (1905-1972): "Don't imitate others, and create something that has never existed before." The exhibition runs through Oct. 15.

Portuguese gallery Duarte Sequeira announced its second Seoul space, Duarte Sequeira Deoksu Palace, with an opening exhibition of works by American artist Pieter Schoolwerth, which starts Tuesday at the gallery in Jeong-dong, central Seoul.

The building was designed by Doo-Da Design Studio on the site of Jung Deok Won, the office of Insoo Daebi, a mother of King Seongjong of the Joseon era.

Duarte Sequeira's second space in Jeong-dong, central Seoul Duarte Sequeira's second space in Jeong-dong, central Seoul

Founded in 2019 in Portugal, Duarte Sequeira opened its first Seoul space, Duarte Sequeira Dosan, in Sinsa-dong in 2022 on the second floor of a building designed by Korean architect Yoo Hyun-joon.

Sotheby’s Seoul office, an auction house opening in late September to the public, will occupy a 150-square-meter space inside Hannam Hwawon Building in Hannam-dong, a neighborhood that has emerged as a new cultural hub in Seoul. The space will accommodate exhibitions, talks and workshops, as well as becoming a new destination for collectors and international audiences in Asia.

“Over the past five years, the number of bidders from South Korea in Sotheby’s global sales has increased year-on-year, while since 2020, almost three quarters of buyers from the region were new to the company,” Sotheby's said in an announcement on Aug. 31.

"Girl Without Balloon" by Banksy (PEST CONTROL OFFICE 2023)

On Tuesday, Sotheby’s will kick off the exhibition, “Love in Paradise: Banksy and Keith Haring,” at Paradise City in Incheon, featuring Banksy’s infamous shredded artwork, “Girl Without Balloon,” in its first public appearance in South Korea.

Operating in 80 locations in 40 countries, the auctioneer records an annual worldwide sales turnover of more than $7 billion, according to the company.

Louise Hayward, partner of Lisson Gallery (right), gives a tour to the press at the pop-up exhibition, Louise Hayward, partner of Lisson Gallery (right), gives a tour to the press at the pop-up exhibition, "Time Curve," Thursday. (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)

Britain's Lisson Gallery and Germany's Sprueth Magers are also running pop-up exhibitions in Seoul. Lisson Gallery has brought together works by renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, British artist Ryan Gander and Nigerian artist Otobong Nkanga, among others, at a hanok in Bukchon Hanok Village located next to Gyeongbokgung in central Seoul. The exhibition, “Time Curve,” will run through Sunday.

Sprueth Magers’s exhibition, “Mondi Possibili,” will open on Friday and run through Sept. 14 on the third floor of My Pleasure Building in Itaewon, Seoul. The exhibition will highlight the interplay between art and design through the voices of longstanding and emerging artists from the gallery’s program.

Frieze Seoul 2023 will be held from Sept. 6 to 9 at Coex in southeastern Seoul in collaboration with Kiaf Seoul 2023, bringing together some 330 galleries across the world.