Your Seoul Exhibition Guide

Must-See Shows This May

Explore our favorite shows in Seoul on view now. This month, we’re featuring immersive exhibitions, weird sculptures, and paintings inspired by sound. Check back weekly as we update what to see.

Laure Provoust at Atelier Hermes

Laure Prouvost at Atelier Hermès

With the Venice Biennale freshly opened, we’re thinking back to 2019, when Laure Provost took over the French Pavilion. She’s now got her immersive exhibition style on full view in Dosan Park, this time in the form of a fictional travel agency. As Korea becomes more friendly to international travel post-Covid, Deep Travel Ink will inspire where you should head to next. In this installation, you follow the story of a family and their mysterious destination. You’re left to your own imagination how their trip comes together. The space is set up like any other office space: wall clocks, world maps, and potted plants. But then posters with humorous text like “go to places that don’t exist” start to make you wonder whether there’s really any trip being planned at all.

Exhibition Site

Jungyoon Hyen and Mark Yang at VSF

Jungyoon Hyen & Mark Yang at Various Small Fires (VSF)

Straight up, the sculptures by Jungyoon Hyen are kind of weird. The fleshy, resin-covered works bulge out like a body-builder who has muscles you never knew existed. In that sense, they are captivating and certainly elicit a response (good or bad). The show highlight for us, however, is the purple painting by Mark Yang. Like men that have taken the place of sardines in a tin can, the bodies take after Yang’s characteristic, simplified human forms. He’s broken it down to basics, with line, shadow, and color. One of our friends interpreted Hyen’s sculptures as something a bit more x-rated (imagine bodies covered in… white goop). That might be a clue to what’s happening in Yang’s works – some wrestling in one, finishing with a state of calm in that hypnotic purple.

Exhibition Site

Philippe Parreno at Gladstone Seoul

Philippe Parreno at Gladstone Gallery

One of the newest galleries to open up in Seoul, Gladstone inaugurates its space with a show that pulls your eyes throughout its architecture. Just be gentle as you pull the door open. The first work on view is actually the five obsidian door handles (we do love an interactive piece!). Once inside, glowing green sculptures jut out from the wall sockets and a snowman waves hello. Depending on when you visit, though, the snowman might’ve melted (it’s literally made out of ice and replaced every few days). And above the snowman hangs another light work, taking your eyes up into the space’s unique skylight. The basement floor features the rest of the show, which is mostly smaller glass versions of Parreno’s older work. 

Exhibition Site

Oliver Beer at Thaddaeus Ropac Seoul | ArtDrunk

Oliver Beer at Thaddaeus Ropac

If you’ve ever wondered how to “see” music or “see” sounds, Oliver Beer’s latest paintings might just do the trick. Debuting for the first time, his Resonance Paintings use sound as his paintbrush. He holds a speaker underneath the canvas, booming to create geometric patterns in blue pigment loosely dusted on the surface. The show itself is in a pristine white space that also features Beer’s Resonance Vessels. Walk up to one of these blue-and-white ceramic vessels, and you’ll start to be immersed in the natural harmony of its form (they’ve placed microphones inside the vessels to amplify the sound). The experience leaves you with a heightened sense of hearing, even in the most everyday of moments. 

Exhibition Site

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