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Frieze Seoul 2023 Guide: The Art of Nature 

Frieze Seoul 2023 Guide: The Art of Nature 

The international art fair’s second edition, Frieze Seoul, will run from September 6-9, coinciding with Kiaf SEOUL, another prominent art event in South Korea. This year’s Frieze edition includes the participation from more than 120 global galleries and a focus on local exhibitors showcasing art from throughout Asia.

In addition to gallery exhibits, the program offers curated segments that delve into Korea’s diverse creative scene. These include Frieze Film, curated by Sungah Serena CHOO and KIM Sung Woo; Frieze Talks, in association with KIAF and KAMS, addressing significant topics in the worldwide and Asian art milieu; and Frieze Music, launching its first Seoul edition with a performance by South Korean musician Colde.

Haenyeo: A Film Tribute to the Sustainers of the Sea

Frieze Film’s theme, “It was the way of walking through narrative,” aims to unearth stories overlooked in official records. IkkibawiKrrr, a renowned Korean visual art group, displays an exclusive artwork that brings attention to the marine life of Jeju Island. Their film features the haenyeo – women apnea divers who make a living from collecting seafood.

ikkibawiKrrr, Seaweed Story, 2022. Singing haenyeo, “sea women” divers. Still: ikkibawiKrrr

The income from haenyeo diving has traditionally been significant enough that these women often served as the primary breadwinners in their families, which has led to a unique matriarchal dynamic on Jeju Island. The haenyeo use sustainable fishing practices, taking only what they need and preserving the marine environment, which resulted in rich marine biodiversity in their diving areas. The presentation pays tribute to their resilience and relationship with the ocean. 

Frieze’s Theme: The Art of Nature 

Focusing on the theme “The Art of Nature,” Frieze Seoul 2023 also partners with the eco fundraising site Pinwheel to support nature and environmental causes. Visitors at the fair and users of can vote for their favorite eco-projects and donate money. Frieze promises to match all donations.

One of the projects featured is the SEE Turtles initiative. Sea turtles are crucial for the environment, but six out of seven species are at risk of extinction. SEE Turtles helps by giving money to groups that keep turtle nesting beaches safe. They even hire locals to watch over these areas. Thanks to this, they’ve saved 4 million baby turtles.

The art fair’s central theme reflects our relationship with the environment. Frieze showcases a diverse range of artworks, including a group exhibition by Hakgojae Gallery of multi-generational artists, including Ryu Kyung Chai (1920-1995), who dedicated his life to exploring natural phenomena in various forms. He depicts the emotions evoked by the weather and the air in a lyrical, abstract style. Through the years, his approach becomes ever-more concise as he concentrates on visualizing light on his canvases.”

Life’s Imprints by Gana Art

“Life’s Imprints,” curated by Gana Art for Frieze Masters, unveils the early masterpieces of five eminent artists from Korea and Japan. The exhibition offers diverse art forms—from sketches and paintings to sculptures and installations. Shim Moon-seup uses organic elements in his creations to explore the interconnection between nature and humankind.

Japanese artist Kohei Nawa’s video installation Tornscape features a virtual landscape made out of moving liquids. This ever-changing digital dance uses real-world data, like wind speed and particle friction, to dictate how these virtual liquids move. The video, powered by a unique algorithm, shows these fluids meeting and melding, never displaying the same interaction twice. Nawa draws inspiration from “Hojoki (An Account of My Hut),” an 800-year-old Japanese text. Written by Kamo no Chomei, the ancient account speaks of the fleeting nature of life during epidemics and disasters in Kyoto.

Korean Artistry and Dynamic Dimensions: A Melding of Past and Present 

PKM Gallery has curated works from three painters essential to the early stages of Korean art, alongside pieces from five contemporary artists. The exhibition includes Yoo Youngkuk (1916-2002), who used primary colors reflecting Korea’s seasons and landscapes.

Additionally, a sculpture by Olafur Eliasson showcases “Your Polyamorous Sphere,” which brings together five shapes, known as ‘Platonic solids,’ formed from identical flat-sided figures consisting of three layers of colored glass. One of these layers uses a special filter that changes colors by reflecting some light and letting other light pass through, which makes the artwork look different based on the viewer’s standpoint. 

This news has been created in collaboration with Open AI’s GPT-4.

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