* 1971, Seoul
IIn her work, Haegue Yang seeks to communicate without language in a primordial and visual way. She often complements her vocabulary of visual abstraction with sensory experiences that include scent, sound, light, and tactility. Combining industrial fabrication and folk craftsmanship, Yang explores the affective power of materials in destabilizing the distinction between the modern and pre-modern. Yang’s unique visual language extends across various media (from paper collage to staged theatre pieces and performative sculptures) and materials (Venetian blinds, clothing racks, synthetic straw, bells, and graph paper) that are torn, lacquered, woven, lit, and hung. Her artistic explorations stem from material-based concerns, accompanied by philosophical, political, and emotionally charged readings of historical events and figures. Her ongoing research is empowered by underlying references to art history, literature, and political history, through which she re-interprets some of her recurrent themes: migration, postcolonial diasporas, enforced exile, and social mobility. As a result, these pieces link various geopolitical contexts and histories in an attempt to understand and comment on our own time. Yang’s translation from the political and historical into the formal and abstract demonstrates her conviction that historical narratives can be made comprehensible without being linguistically explanatory or didactic.
A selection of her most notable exhibitions includes: Haegue Yang: ETA. 1994–2018, Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2018); Silo of Silence – Clicked Core, KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2017-18); Lingering Nous, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2016); An Opaque Wind Park in Six Folds, Serralves Foundation – Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, Portugal (2016); The Malady of Death: Écrire et Lire (commissioned by M+), Sunbeam Theatre, Hong Kong, China (2015); Shooting the Elephant 象 Thinking the Elephant, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea (2015); Uneven Arrivals, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing, China (2015); Équivoques (Family of Equivocations), Musée d’Art moderne et contemporain de Strasbourg (MAMCS) and Aubette 1928, Strasbourg, France (2013); Honesty Printed on Modesty, STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery, Singapore (2013); Accommodating the Epic Dispersion, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2012); Arrivals, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2011); Voice and Wind, New Museum, New York (2010); Symmetric Inequality, Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Spain (2008); Asymmetric Equality, REDCAT CalArts' downtown center for contemporary arts, Los Angeles (2008).
Her work has also been included in the following biennials: 21st Sydney Biennial, Australia (2018); Liverpool Biennial 2017, United Kingdom (2017); 13e Biennale de Lyon, France (2015); Sharjah Biennial 12, United Arab Emirates (2015); The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8), Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Australia (2015); Western China International Biennale (2012); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012); 8th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2010); 53rd Venice Biennial (2009); 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, China (2008); Prague Biennale 3, Czech Republic (2007); 5th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2004); Busan Biennale 2006, South Korea; Manifesta 4, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Frankfurt, Germany (2004); 4th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2002); 1st edition of the T.I.C.A.B – Tirana International Contemporary Art Biannual, Albania (2001).
Haegue Yang lives and works in Berlin.