7 Must-See Shows during Frieze Seoul 2022

Ayanna Dozier
Aug 25, 2022 3:28PM

Diedrick Brackens, installation view of “Diedrick Brackens: together our shadows make a single belly,” at Various Small Fires, Seoul, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Various Small Fires.

With loosening COVID-19 restrictions worldwide, the inaugural edition of Frieze Seoul will see a deluge of events, gallery openings, and late-night excursions that reflect the vibrancy of the capital’s arts and culture scene. Led by director Patrick Lee, the momentous event marks Frieze’s first venture into Asia’s art fair circuit, and boasts a robust roster of international galleries while paying close attention to artists and institutions across the Asian diaspora. Here, we share seven exhibitions that are not to be missed while in town for Frieze Seoul.

McArthur Binion, “DNA:Study/(Visual:Ear)”

Lehmann Maupin

September 1–October 22

McArthur Binon, detail of Untitled, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin.


Chicago-based artist McArthur Binion has infused jazz into his abstract and conceptual paintings and prints for the past four decades. For his fifth solo show with Lehmann Maupin and first in its newly opened Seoul outpost, Binion will present new paintings from his staple series “DNA” (2013–present) and “Visual Ear” (2022–present). Across these two bodies of work, Binon uses geometry, rhythm, and improvisation to map out subjectivity.

For Binon, a self-described “rural modernist,” abstraction does not erase cultural identity and personhood, but rather grids it into a pattern. His rhythmic work interrogates how artists of color have historically used abstraction as a field to navigate identity outside of representation from the 20th century to the present.

“Kwankyemang: Connectworking”

Seojung Art

July 29–August 28

Installation view of “Kwankyemang: Connectworking” at Seojung Art, Seoul, 2022. Courtesy of Seojung Art.

Closing a few days before Frieze Seoul opens, the group show “Kwankyemang: Connectworking” at Seojung Art examines the strange alienation produced by city living and online communication. Rebuking the myth that digital technology has made individuals feel more interconnected than ever, the exhibition features the work of eight figurative and abstract painters: Simon Ko, HaNuk Jung, SeungYoon Choi, Qwaya, Jungwon Phee, Seong Joon Hong, Do-you Hwang, and Wonhae Hwang.

“Kwankyemang: Connectworking” poetically grapples with a plethora of seismic events around the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond that have rendered interpersonal connection and touch impossible. As visitors ease back into the rhythm of international travel and communion, the exhibition’s emotive paintings emphasize the power of collectivity and belonging across cultural, familial, and romantic bonds.

Chung Chang-Sup, “Mind in Matter”

PKM Gallery

August 25–October 15

The late Chung Chang-Sup was a key figure in the Dansaekhwa movement, which pushed the boundaries of painting through the use of raw materials and monochromatic color palettes. Chang-Sup’s solo exhibition “Mind in Matter” at PKM Gallery focuses on the artist’s experiments with tak, the key material in traditional Korean mulberry paper, or hanji. The resulting series, aptly titled “Tak,” is indicative of Chang-Sup’s later body of work produced in the 1980s. With a distinctive, stubble-like texture created by rolling a mixture of tak and water onto the canvas, Chang-Sup’s paintings balance the tension between rough and smooth surfaces.

Diedrick Brackens, “together our shadows make a single belly”

Various Small Fires

September 1–October 15

Diedrick Brackens, the warmth of other suns, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Various Small Fires.

Rising artist Diedrick Brackens will make his Asia debut at Various Small Fires this September. “together our shadows make a single belly” will examine analogy and narrative through richly woven tapestries featuring Brackens’s signature silhouetted figures.

For the exhibition, Brackens will create new representations of narrative togetherness by representing figures bonding with each other and the universe in compositions inspired by the West African symbol system of Adinkra—specifically the Funtunfunefu symbol, which speaks to how consent can be communally expressed through rhythm. The tapestries also mark a shift in texture for Brackens, who is embracing coarser textiles in his woven pieces compared to his previous works that opted for a more smoother, painterly effect.

Barry McGee, “Everyday Sunrise”


August 5–September 8

Barry McGee, installation view of “Barry McGee: Everyday Sunrise,” at Perrotin, Seoul, 2022. © Barry McGee. Courtesy of the artist, Perrotin, and Ratio 3.

Barry McGee’s solo exhibition of stellar sculptures and paintings will enter its final week at Perrotin during Frieze Seoul. The San Francisco–based artist, who helped define and popularize the Bay Area street art movement known as the Mission School, mixes high and low culture across colorful site-specific installations, ready-made objects (like surfboards and ceramics), and paintings. McGee’s maximalist approach to blending heritage with popular imagery enables him to blur the boundaries between art and life; personal and social; past and present.

Ghada Amer, “Paravent Girls,”

Tina Kim Gallery

August 30–September 15

Ghada Amer, Suzy Playing, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Tina Kim Gallery.

Ghada Amer, Suzy Playing, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Tina Kim Gallery.

A new series of Ghada Amer’s darkly explicit female figures will debut at Tina Kim Gallery’s pop-up space at the Songwon Art Center. Made in collaboration with a Korean craftsman, the trompe l’oeil sculptures use cast bronze to mimic cardboard and white paper boxes. Painted on top of these bronze boxes are scenes of eroticized women rendered in Amer’s recognizable style, which evoke the artist’s signature embroideries.

Unlike her previous works that featured and played with the feminine form, these sculptures concentrate on the expressive faces of women during moments of ecstasy, further fulfilling and affirming Amer’s intent of depicting female sensuality beyond male consumption.

“Scoring the Words”

Seoul Museum of Art

September 1–November 20

Suki Seokyeong Kang, Black Meander, 2016–18. Photo by Kim Kyungtae. Courtesy of SeMA.

The group show “Scoring the Words” at the Seoul Museum of Art will examine contemporary art through a dynamic lineup of emerging and established artists working in the Asian diaspora. The multimedia exhibition will feature the work of A-Melting Pot (Daham Park & Boyeon Marta Shin), CAMP, Hera Chan & Edwin Nasr, Duto Hardono, Young In Hong, Dusadee Huntrakul, Yezoi Hwang, Suki Seokyeong Kang, Saša Karalić, Jompet Kuswidananto, Tiffany Sia, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, Koki Tanaka, and Jason Wee. By using poetry as a prompt, the artists will grapple—largely through abstraction—with complex arguments on race, ethnicity, and belonging through an array of beautiful sculptures, textiles, and photographs that speak to a variety of personal tastes.

Ayanna Dozier
Ayanna Dozier is Artsy’s Staff Writer.

Editor’s note: Seojung Art’s forthcoming solo exhibition for Nanan Kang, “The Corn E01 - Corn Sweet Corn,” opens on September 3rd and will be on view through October 3rd.