in Frieze Seoul , News | 06 SEP 23

Juli Yoon’s Top Picks from Frieze Seoul Viewing Room 2023

The Chief Curator of Seoul’s Ilmin Museum of Art highlights five works that are both playful and thought-provoking, including paintings by Minouk Lim, Issy Wood and Agus Suwage 

in Frieze Seoul , News | 06 SEP 23


Four-blooming flower, 2023

Wooden stick, burlap

64.57" x 11.81" x 11.81" (164 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm)

Presented by Tina Kim Gallery


Minouk Lim, Four-blooming flower, 2023. Courtesy the artist and Tina Kim Gallery.
Minouk Lim, Four-blooming flower, 2023. Courtesy the artist and Tina Kim Gallery

“Seoul is a city woven of discontinuities. Lim uses his chosen materials as a kind of connective tissue for time itself, creating works that can have a similar effect to what we call ‘history.’ Objects like canes, for example, have been successfully deployed in the artist’s performances. Because the format of so many of Lim’s works do not lend themselves to private ownership, this alone makes Four-blooming flower quite appealing.”


Untitled, 2023

Archival pigment print

Framed: 32.1" x 24.3" x 1.6" (81.7 x 61.7 x 4 cm framed)

Unframed: 31.5" x 23.62" (80 cm x 60 cm)

Edition of 5 +2AP

Presented by Gallery Baton

Heeseung Chung, Untitled, 2023. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Baton.
Heeseung Chung, Untitled, 2023. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Baton

“Is photography still a meaningful medium? Heeseung Chung would say yes. There are no tricks in these photographs. Rather, Chung pours the technical achievements of photography, won through the course of its longstanding rivalry with painting, into each individual print. At a moment when every image strives to be quicker than the last, Chung refuses to give up the weight of the photograph. Such, he seems to say, is the destiny of the true photographer. Untitled, which depicts a small bird alighting on a hand, is no exception.”


A lot of missionary, 2023

Oil on linen

90.55" x 33.07" x 1.97" (230 cm x 84 cm x 5 cm)

Presented by Carlos/ Ishikawa


Issy Wood A lot of missionary, 2023 Oil on linen 230 x 84 x 5 cm 90 1/2 x 33 1/8 x 2 in  Image © Issy Wood 2023, courtesy the artist; Carlos/Ishikawa, London; and Michael Werner Gallery, New York. Photographer: Damian Griffiths
Issy Wood, A lot of missionary, 2023, oil on linen 230 x 84 x 5 cm 90 1/2 x 33 1/8 x 2 in. 

Image © Issy Wood 2023, courtesy the artist; Carlos/Ishikawa, London; and Michael Werner Gallery, New York. Photographer: Damian Griffiths

“So, then, what about painting? For a while, the world of painting was stuck between meaningless geometric lines and overheated expression. It felt as if paintings were either actively trying to act like paintings or pretending they weren’t paintings at all. Issy Wood, however, bestows upon us an entirely new kind of pleasure. Even as she makes us rethink what it means to see and recreate the world, Wood reveals a special affinity for music and literature—distilling all of the above into technically rich and art-historically interesting paintings like A lot of missionary.


Teach Your Children, 2016

Watercolor, tobacco juice and gold leaf on paper

88.19" x 101.57" (224 cm x 258 cm)

Presented by ROH


Agus Suwage, Teach Your Children (2016). Watercolor, tobacco juice and gold leaf on paper. 244 x 258 cm. Courtesy of The Artist and ROH.
Agus Suwage, Teach Your Children, 2016, watercolor, tobacco juice and gold leaf on paper. 244 x 258 cm. Courtesy of The Artist and ROH

“Agus Swage cloaks his humor in a strange way. Personally I am drawn to his characters because their human bodies have such unexpected heads attached to them. Something bad must have happened in my childhood. Suwage’s work, which is based on the local colors of Indonesia, is free from the pressure to move beyond modernist painting; in other words, these are painting that didn’t have anything bad happen in their childhood. We need to pay more attention to the methodology of these paintings. In addition, the collaboration between ROH and Whistle (both galleries that are active in the Asian contemporary scene) is one of the reasons I’m most looking forward to being onsite at Frieze Seoul this year.”


Future Herbarium

Oil and palladium leaf on wood

Framed: 33.35" x 33.35" x 2.36" (84.7cm x 84.7cm x 6cm)

Unframed: 31.6" x 31.6" x 1" (80.3cm x 80.3cm x 2.5cm)

Presented by Perrotin

Laurent Grasso, Future Herbarium. Courtesy the artist and Perrotin.
Laurent Grasso, Future Herbarium, Oil and palladium leaf on wood, painting, unique. Photo: M2 Studio 

© Laurent Grasso / ADAGP, Paris, 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin.

“Recently, South Korea has been rocked by the release of treated radioactive wastewater off the coast of Fukushima. The issue has escalated into a politicized debate that has left many people at a loss. What does this mean for our future? I’m not sure myself. Laurent Grasso’s Future Herbarium deepens the work on plant mutations he has been pursuing in the wake of 2011’s Great East Japan Earthquake. I would like to replace my concerns about the future with this painting. How beautiful—and futile—art can be.”

About Juli Yoon 


Juli Yoon. Courtesy Juli Yoon.
Juli Yoon, courtesy Juli Yoon

Yoon Juli is the Chief Curator of Ilmin Museum of Art, a co-curator of WESS and a member of AURORA. He has curated exhibitions and projects across numerous fields with artists, institutions, and companies around Seoul’s visual culture. 


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