in Frieze Seoul | 18 JUN 24

Ten Emerging Artists to Discover at Frieze Seoul 2024

Solo shows by some of Asia’s most exciting new talents, including Taiki Sakpisit’s haunting dreamscapes, Hwang Sueyon’s sculptures at the edge of collapse and Kingsley Gunatillake’s gutted books

in Frieze Seoul | 18 JUN 24

Focus Asia returns to Frieze Seoul 2024 with ten solo artist presentations from Asia-based galleries opened in or after 2012. Steered by Joselina Cruz (Director and Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila) and Hyejung Jang (Chief Curator, Doosan Art Center, Seoul), this year’s edition welcomes many new participants, with five galleries making their Frieze fair debut. Focus Asia spotlights emerging and innovative voices working across a range of media, with questions about time, light, memory and material recurring across the section.

Jonghwan Lee, Narcissus IX, 2024. Engraving and watercolour, 39 × 37 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Cylinder
Lee Jonghwan, Narcissus IX, 2024. Engraving and watercolour, 39 × 37 cm. Courtesy the artist and Cylinder

Cylinder (Seoul), recipient of the Focus Asia Stand Prize at Frieze Seoul 2023, is presenting the Seoul-based Lee Jonghwan. Lee combines drawing and engraving to plot an undulating terrain of colour and form. Imagining that his paintings have eyes, He positions his works on opposing walls in Cylinder’s space.

Evelyn Taocheng Wang, Black Berries of Turkish Women, 2023. Oil on canvas, 2 × 2 m. Courtesy: the artist and Kayokoyuki
Evelyn Taocheng Wang, Black Berries of Turkish Women, 2023. Oil on canvas, 2 × 2 m. Courtesy: the artist and Kayokoyuki 

Evelyn Taocheng Wang, presented by Tokyo’s Kayokoyuki, roams across painting, performance and installation, to explore identity and culture through the lens of diasporic experience. Wang’s paintings for Frieze Seoul continue her long-term study of Agnes Martin’s colours and layers, drawing direct reference to Martin’s permanent installation at the Harwood Museum in Taos, New Mexico. 

Sojung Jun, Syncope, 2023. Single channel 4k video, colour, stereo sound. Courtesy: the artist and Barakat Contemporary
Jun Sojung, Syncope, 2023. Single channel 4k video, colour, stereo sound. Courtesy: the artist and Barakat Contemporary

Jun Sojung’s video Syncope (2023) was commissioned by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art's Korea Artist Prize and is being presented at Frieze Seoul by Barakat Contemporary (Seoul) in a reimagined installation. Syncope superimposes divergent sounds and speeds: trains traversing Asia and Europe, bodies crossing borders, migrating data and plants. Jun uses Syncope’s accelerative drive – running through past, present and future – to imagine ways of existence beyond linear movement.

Taiki Sakpisit, Dark Was the Night, 2024. Two-channel video installation, 4K colour and black and white, 5.1 surround sound. Courtesy: the artist and SAC Gallery
Taiki Sakpisit, Dark Was the Night, 2024. Two-channel video installation, 4K colour and black and white, 5.1 surround sound. Courtesy: the artist and SAC Gallery

Taiki Sakpisit immerses audiences in a space he creates somewhere between dream and reality, where the tensions, conflicts and hopes of contemporary Thailand play out. Inspired by Blind Willie Johnson’s eponymous haunting blues song, ‘Dark Was the Night’, Sakpisit’s presentation with SAC Gallery (Bangkok) weaves together video, sculpture, prints and photographs to chart a landscape of loss.

Kingsley Gunatillake, War Text, 2023. Used books and copper soldiers, 19 × 22 × 6 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Blueprint 12
Kingsley Gunatillake, War Text, 2023. Used books and copper model soldiers, 19 × 22 × 6 cm. Courtesy the artist and Blueprint 12

The inaugural presentation by New Delhi’s Blueprint 12 at Frieze Seoul spotlights Kingsley Gunatillake, whose work is a visceral response to Sri Lanka’s history of civil war. Gunatillake chars and carves the pages of found books and embeds figures of soldiers, deities and architectural motifs, to recall the burning of the Jaffna Library in 1981.

Cho Hyori, Forward, 2024. Acrylic, resin on wood, stainless steel frame, 31 × 101 × 4 cm. Courtesy: the artist and A-Lounge
Cho Hyori, Forward, 2024. Acrylic, resin on wood, stainless steel frame, 31 × 101 × 4 cm. Courtesy the artist and A-Lounge

Cho Hyori grew up immersed in three-dimensional virtual games, and translates these digital environments into tangible reality. Cho envisions A-Lounge’s (Seoul) space at Frieze Seoul as a road along which viewers imagine themselves driving, their movement splintered into multiple perspectives by paintings that capture different angles and moments.

Park Kyung Ryul, 4:24, 2024. Oil on canvas, 80 × 80 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Baik Art
Park Kyung Ryul, 4:24, 2024. Oil on canvas, 80 × 80 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Baik Art

Park Kyung Ryul describes her practice as ‘sculptural painting’, equating individual brushstrokes with physical objects. At Frieze Seoul, Park’s installation for Baik Art (Seoul) incorporates paintings, sculptures, works on paper, mirrors, found objects and organic material.

Supawich Weesapen, The unknown ray, be remembered, 2024. Courtesy: the artist and Nova Contemporary
Supawich Weesapen, The unknown ray, be remembered, 2024. Courtesy the artist and Nova Contemporary

Nova Contemporary (Bangkok) returns to Focus Asia with a solo presentation of new work by Supawich Weesapen. In his light-saturated paintings, Weesapen emulates sci-fi aesthetics and digital illumination with oil paint. Toying with opacity and the old master technique of chiaroscuro, the result is a beguiling blend of the otherworldly and terrestrial, the futuristic and historical. 

Hwang Sueyon, Black Effector, 2023. 3D print, lighter, printed paper, efect spray, glitter 240 × 109 × 78 cm. Courtesy: the artist and G Gallery. Photo: Lee Seungheone
Hwang Sueyon, Black Effector, 2023. 3D print, lighter, printed paper, effect spray, glitter, 240 × 109 × 78 cm. Courtesy the artist and G Gallery. Photo: Lee Seungheone

Seoul-based sculptor Hwang Sueyon takes a playful approach to material and weight. The figures that constitute her ‘Paper Body’ series are towering but featherlight, made from glued paper. At G Gallery (Seoul), Hwang places her sculptures in positions that their natural material state resists: one paper figure is poised on the end of a diving board, while the sand sculptures from her ‘Heavier’ series are submerged in water. For Hwang, imagining this edge of collapse is a means of understanding how fragile bodies navigate social systems. 

Lu Yang, DOKU The Flow, 2024. 4K video with sound. Courtesy: the artist and Parcel
Lu Yang, DOKU–The Flow, 2024. 4K video with sound. Courtesy: the artist and Parcel

Lu Yang has been developing the character of DOKU for the last five years, and now presents the project at an Asian art fair for the first time, with Parcel (Tokyo). DOKU–The Flow is an animated film composed of non-linear sequences in which DOKU, Lu’s reincarnated self, slips in and out of various digital skins, moving beyond reality and towards a state of emptiness.

Focus Asia is presented in collaboration with Stone Island, who provide subsidies that help enable young galleries’ participation in the fair, alongside Frieze’s existing support. 

Further Information

Frieze Seoul, COEX, 4 – 7 September 2024.

Tickets to Frieze Seoul 2024 are released in June on frieze.com

A dedicated online Frieze Viewing Room opens in the week before the fair, offering audiences a first look at the presentations and the ability to engage with the fair remotely. 

For all the latest news from Frieze, sign up to the newsletter at frieze.com, and follow @friezeofficial on Instagram, X and Frieze Official on Facebook.

Main Image: Lu Yang, DOKU–The Flow, 2024. 4K video with sound. Courtesy: the artist and Parcel

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