Conceptual Art Arrives on the Seoul Art Scene

Posted on March 28, 2011


Richard Prince, Second Chance Nurse, Ink-jet print and acrylic on canvas, 198.1X147.3cm, 2003, Courtesy of the artist and PKM Trinity Gallery

by Minji Lee

Many have long craved for Korea’s art scene to embrace a more diverse line of visual artists. In Korea, there tends to be a high regard for only classic masterpieces by artists such as Van Gogh, Chagall, or Monet as “real art”.

Finally, there is an art exhibition in Seoul for those who appreciate the value hidden behind contemporary art.

“Text/Video/Women: Art After 60s” is on view from February 24 until March 23 at the PKM Trinity Gallery located in the trendy Cheongdam-dong area of Gangnam-gu, Seoul. The exhibition zeroes in on the 1960s pop and minimalist art scene.

“If we partition the art in the 60s into two mainstreams of pop art and minimalist art, conception art is their common tributary. I wanted to display how conceptual art made its way into contemporary art,” said Park Kyung Mee, the director of the PKM Trinity Gallery.

It is no exaggeration to say that conceptual art marked the beginning of contemporary art, encouraging artists to be more experimental with materials and installation methods, which resulted in the spurt of new ideas that surpassed the realm of classic art.

On the third basement of the exhibition, a series of video installations by Paik Nam June, Paul McCarthy, and Dan Graham are shown. Each of them approach the video art differently, reminiscing of the avant-garde artistic movement in the 1960s in which they left their mark.

The second basement is filled with art work that highlight text and femininity. For example, Ed Ruscha used letters and sentences as subjects in his paintings, in tandem with Tracey Emin, one of the leading feminine artists, using simple sentences made of neon as art.

Tracey Emin, Only God Knows I'm Good, Snow White Neon, 63.5x346.7cm, 2009, Courtesy of the artist and PKM Trinity Gallery

In addition, the large-scale painting “Second Chance Nurse” by American artist Richard Prince, which appeared in the film “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” is on view.

“TEXT/VIDEO/FEMALE: Art after 60s” runs through March 23. Call (02) 515-9496 or visit

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