* 1971, Seoul
In 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. Her practice extends across various media, from paper collage to staged theatre pieces and performative sculptures. The artist’s unique visual language is comprised of Venetian blinds, clothing racks, synthetic straw, bells and graph paper —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. This translation – from the political and historical into the formal and abstract – demonstrates an unshakable faith that historical narratives can be made comprehensible without being linguistically explanatory in an objective or didactic way.
A selection of her most notable exhibitions includes: Lingering Nous, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2016); An Opaque Wind Park in Six Folds, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, Portugal (2016); The Malady of Death: Écrire and Lire (commissioned by M+ for Mobile M+: Live Art), Hong Kong, China (2015); Shooting the Elephant象 Thinking the Elephant, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea (2015); Uneven Arrivals, Ullens Center for Contemporary Arts UCCA, Beijing, China (2015); Family of Equivocations, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Strasbourg, France (2013); Honesty Printed on Modesty, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore (2013); Accomodating the Epic Dispersion, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2012); Arrivals, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria (2011); Voice and Wind, New Museum, New York, United States (2010); Symmetric Inequality, Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Spain (2008); Asymmetric Equality, REDCAT, Los Angeles, United States (2008); Sadong 30, Incheon, South Korea (2006); Unfolding, Dépendance, Brussels, Belgium (2004).
Furthermore, her work has been included in the following biennials: 13th Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France (2015); Sharjah Biennial 12, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2015); The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8), Brisbane, Australia (2015); West China Art Biennale, Yinchuan, China (2012); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012); 8th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2010); 53rd Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2009); 3rd Guangzhou Triennial; Guangzhou, China (2008); PRAGUEBIENNALE3, Prague, Czech Republic (2007); 5th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2004); 3rd Busan Biennale, Busan, South Korea; Manifesta 4, European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Frankfurt, Germany (2004); 4th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2002); Tirana Biennale 1, Tirana, Albania (2001).
Haegue Yang currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.