in Frieze Seoul , News | 06 SEP 23

Billy Tang’s Top Picks from Frieze Seoul Viewing Room 2023

The Executive Director and Curator of Para Site highlights deeply moving works by international artists including Pacita Abad, Xiyadie and Yuko Mohri 

in Frieze Seoul , News | 06 SEP 23


UK/HK22 13, 2022

Printed matter, photograph, ink, felt-tip pen, pencil and metal on paper

39.37" x 27.95" (100 cm x 71 cm)

Presented by Take Ninagawa

UK/HK22 13, collage of vintage images by Japanese artist Shinro Ohtake
Shinro Ohtake, UK/HK 22 13, 2022. Courtesy the artist and Take Ninagawa

“Shinro Ohtake once formed a music and art group called Puzzle Punks with the singer Yamantaka Eye from the noise band Boredoms. In his latest series of medium-format collages, UK/HK22 (2021–), Ohtake reflects on his formative experience in London and Hong Kong in the late 1970s and early 1980s, where he began his legendary ‘Scrapbooks’ project. It’s an interesting snapshot into the porous boundaries shared between art and the world of experimental noise.”


Strange Fruit, 2002

Oil, painted cloth, painted tin stitched on canvas 

40.24" x 28.74" x 2.01" (102.2 cm x 73 cm x 5.1 cm)

Presented by Tina Kim Gallery

a cheerful abstract oil of earthy organic forms and bright green curlicues that look like growing vines
Pacita Abad, Strange Fruit, 2002. Image courtesy of the Pacita Abad Art Estate and Tina Kim Gallery. Photo by Lyn Nguyen

“It has only been until recently that Pacita Abad's work has received wider visibility internationally. A series of recent exhibitions have showcased her prophetic ability to weave together a defiant political energy with various traditions and cross-cultural influences from across Asia. Having recently visited the painted bridge in Singapore that she created near the end of her life, I found this work particularly moving to see.”


Joy (Happy Together), 2018

Papercut with water-based dye and Chinese pigments on Xuan paper 

18.07" x 18.07" (45.9 cm x 45.9 cm)  

Presented by P21 Gallery

two stylized figures face one another, perhaps about to kiss, their fingers and hair bursting into colorful blossoms
Xiyadie, Joy (Happy Together), 2018. Courtesy of the artist and P21 Gallery

“A self-taught artist, Xiyadie—whose name means ‘Siberian butterfly’ in Chinese—has created a singular language all his own using the folk tradition of paper-cutting. Through this intricate practice, the artist expresses depths of emotion and empathy that reflect the many ups and downs of his own life. The results, unapologetically queer and also joyous, speak for themselves.”


Noise Blanket No. 17, 2023 

85.98" x 90" x 2.76" (218.4 cm x 228.6 cm x 7 cm) 

Presented by Empty Gallery

a solid geometric form in a swirling amber pattern shaped to resemble a hanging kimono
Jacqueline Kiyomi Gork, Noise Blanket No. 17, 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Empty Gallery

“Jacqueline Kiyomi Gork is an artist that likes to explore both the symbolic and physical qualities of sound through performance, interventions, and sculptures, often blurring their boundaries. This latest iteration of the ‘Noise Blanket’ series resembles a hand-made kimono. It’s scaled to larger than life size to connect the functionality of clothing to a conversation with architecture. Drawing on their parallels as protective and immersive structures regulating our bodies, Gork riffs on both the handmade and artificial to create a camouflage aesthetic. It feels like a painting as much as it does a protective blanket, something that insulates energy, voids out unwanted noise, and orientates our senses in another way.”


Decomposition, 2022 

Speaker, wood pedestal, seasonal fruits 

23.62" x 23.62" (60 cm x 60 cm) 

Presented by Yutaka Kikutake Gallery

A small heap of fresh fruit sits on a wooden pedestal, apparently connected to two megaphones set out on the floor
Yuko Mohri, Decomposition, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Yutaka Kikutake Gallery

“Yuko Mohri has such an eclectic range of influences, and the work is able to bounce around so many conversations and motifs found in both historical and contemporary art. It makes sense to find out that the artist cites Buddhist kusozu (‘nine-stage paintings’), a genre of painting depicting corpses in the gradual process of decay and disfigurement, as a point of departure for this work. I recently experienced the work in an enclosed setting. Her take on kinetic art is so imaginative. Taking things you might commonly find in a fruit bowl, she taps into the materiality of our daily life to create an experience that is both eery and sublime at the same time.”


About Billy Tang

A young man in glasses with short black hair stands facing the camera, his back to a stone wall
Billy Tang, photograph by Shuwei Liu

Billy Tang is Executive Director & Curator at Para Site, Hong Kong. He was previously Senior Curator at Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, and Curatorial Director at the artist-run Magician Space in Beijing. Writing contributions have appeared in ArtAsiaPacific, Leap, Spike Magazine, Terremoto and Mousse Magazine.



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