Tina Kim Gallery is delighted to present Ability vs. Invisibility, the first solo exhibition in the United States by South Korean artist Chung Seoyoung. Following her first group show in New York, Two Hours (2016)—also presented by Tina Kim Gallery—Chung will present a range of works from 2007 to the present in the upcoming exhibition, on view from March 2 to April 15, 2017.
Throughout her career, Chung has rigorously worked with a precise sculptural language, carefully manipulating everyday objects and materials, and intervening into the spaces with which her works engage. Since the early 2000s, her work has expanded to include video, performance and sound, with many of her recent exhibitions in Seoul taking the form of sculptural interventions into existing spaces, including an abandoned model house (Apple vs. Banana, 2011) and a pavilion in Deoksu Palace (Deoksugung Project, 2012). Part of a generation of artists who contributed significantly to the development of contemporary art in Seoul in the 1990s, Chung continues to develop idiosyncratic work that delights viewers.
Chung received her M.F.A. in Sculpture from Seoul National University in 1989, when the Korean art scene was still largely dominated by the opposition between modern abstract painting (a legacy of the country’s Dansaekhwa movement of the 1970s) and the populist Minjung art movement. Soon afterwards, she began studying at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart, Germany, where she lived for several years while seeking out a mode of sculpture that would move beyond this opposition.
By the time Chung returned to Seoul in 1996, international art biennales had begun to proliferate widely, serving as platforms for more experimental practices. However, given the lack of domestic institutional support at the time, South Korean artists and their artworks were often cast as simple manifestations of Korean-ness on these global platforms. Chung’s work, however, did not indulge the desire for easily legible cultural symbols or narratives. She instead focused on transposing her perception of industrialism and domestic, urban environments into the vernacular of her sculpture, which often operated through a logic of denial and reduction. Drawings reduced objects to their most basic representations, performers sat impassively in front of the audience, and language became uncanny, at odds with objects and sometimes behaving as an object itself.