Your Seoul Exhibition Guide

Must-See Shows This Week

Wondering what’s on view and what to see in Seoul? Here are our top picks.

Once you’ve made it through this list, don’t forget to check out our newly launched Seoul Neighborhood Guides to explore other shows, plus restaurants and more.

Lee Jae Seok at Chapter II

Why you should see it: Lee Jae Seok’s work is a refreshing contrast to the “trendy”, often graphic-based styles that have dominated a lot of Korea’s emerging art scene. His work, instead, takes from classical imagery, landscape painting, and his own experiences in the army. The curious shapes and symbolism offer a slow yet meaningful viewing experience as you try to figure out what exactly it is you’re looking at.

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Maurizio Cattelan at Leeum

Why you should see it: A banana and duct tape, a miniature Sistine Chapel, a functioning tiny elevator. These are the just some of the iconic works of artist (and humorist) Maurizio Cattelan. 38 total pieces are installed at Leeum, which is his largest show since his 2011 Guggenheim retrospective where he hung his entire life’s work from the ceiling of the museum. Basically, this is as good as it gets. Visit for a fun time (and, we’ll admit, for some great Instagram pics).

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The 22nd SONGEUN Art Award Exhibition at SONGEUN Art Space

Why you should see it: SONGEUN’s annual Art Award is back. This exhibition features the 20 shortlisted artists who will have the chance for a solo exhibition at the museum and cash prize. But more importantly, it’s an overview of the best Korean artists coming onto the scene today. You’ll find a broad range of painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, and sound work.

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Heemin Chung, Sun Woo, & Zadie Xa at Thaddaeus Ropac

Why you should see it: Three young, female Korean artists who have been hotly collected and exhibited the past couple years are brought under one roof. Each approaches painting with a unique background and technique. It’s a sampler of the latest abstract, digital, and textile work leading the scene today. Side note: Sun Woo has been a great friend of ArtDrunk’s and you can see her in action from our 2021 video here.

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Kiki Smith at SeMA (Seoul Museum of Art)

Why you should see it: If you like walking in gardens, this is the show for you. At least that’s how Kiki Smith describes her practice. It’s visually-varied and truly like walking into a fantasy world of morphing figures, celestial objects, and all kinds of creatures. While her aesthetics will enchant you, you’ll also be introduced to the wider context of her work,  dealing with the body and life’s fragility.

Side note: SeMA’s website is a great resource. They’ve uploaded their audio guide to 19 artworks (with images), all in the link below.

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Closed on Jan 1, 2023

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