Haegue Yang

Haegue Yang

Leeum Museum of Art

Shooting the Elephant Thinking the Elephant, 2015. Exhibition view, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, 2015. Photo: Kim Hyunsoo.

February 11, 2015

Haegue Yang
Shooting the Elephant Thinking the Elephant

February 12–May 10, 2015

Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
60-16, Itaewon-ro, 55-gil
Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Korea 140-893
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10:30am–6pm

T +82 2 2014 6901


Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Haegue Yang: Shooting the Elephant Thinking the Elephant from Feb 12 to May 10, 2015. Haegue Yang (born in 1971, Seoul, South Korea) began to draw the attention of the art world in the mid-2000s with her inquiry on the notion of singularity and community, employing unique materials woven into an abstract language. Yang’s complex and multi-faceted exhibitions have been staged at numerous major international contemporary art institutions and she has received critical acclaim for works presented at distinguished exhibitions that include the Venice Biennale 2009 and Documenta (13) 2012 in Kassel. Through simultaneously conceptual and sensorial works in which materials such as everyday objects and industrial materials agonize and form into an ambivalent yet revelatory and liberating realms of politics, history, and culture, her highly inspirational practice is at the forefront of contemporary art.

Haegue Yang: Shooting the Elephant Thinking the Elephant is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Korea in five years. As the title suggests, George Orwell’s essay Shooting an Elephant triggered the main metaphor of her show, while Romain Gary’s novel The Roots of Heaven fleshed out the real and imaginary dimensions of the metaphor. The elephant appears as an invisible medium, extremely vulnerable like endangered nature, but also powerful as our human imagination and aspiration.

Shooting the Elephant Thinking the Elephant brings together Yang’s major works over the past decade with newly commissioned ambitious projects. Entering the exhibition, Sol LeWitt Upside Down – Structure with Three Towers, Expanded 23 Times (2015) is a new Venetian blind piece that strongly references Sol LeWitt’s work from 1986, marking a turning point in her signature work. Following the wearable metal-plated bell sculptures, Sonicwears (2013/2015) at the Mezzanine, one finally encounters the focal series of sculptures, The Intermediates (2015) in the Ground Gallery. These architectural and anthropomorphic synthetic straw-crafted sculptures address the particularity (folk) and universality (civilizational) of cultures, blurring the boundaries between established traditional concepts and hybrid, even alien, and unfamiliar migratory strands. Also on display are a variety of works, ranging from various work phases presenting the extreme diversities of her oeuvres, such as Seoul Guts (2010), Trustworthy (since 2010), and VIP’s Union (2001), which explore issues of hospitality, alterity as well as empathy and collective spirituality. In the Black Box, the large-scale Venetian blind work Cittadella (2011) together with the performative sonic sculptural installation Boxing Ballet (2013/2015) create rather parallel worlds of non-gravitational and hypnotizing architectural, metallic and robotic figuration of the avant-garde.

Shooting the Elephant Thinking the Elephant is an ambitious and generous presentation, providing an opportunity to appreciate an extensive number of Yang’s major works to witness her ever-changing materiality and language as well as non-conformist attitude driven by an overwhelmingly diverse and expansive facet of intellectual endeavors. 

Leeum will publish a bilingual catalogue, designed by Jinyeol Jung, including essays by Nicolas Bourriaud, Sungwon Kim as well as exhibition curator, Hyunsun Tae.

Curated by Hyunsun Tae, Senior Curator of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art 
Sponsored by Samsung Electronics, co., Ltd.

Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art was opened in central Seoul in 2004 and provides a unique environment to house the comprehensive collections of traditional and contemporary art in Korea. Three buildings make up the composite complex, designed by three internationally acclaimed architects: Mario Botta, Jean Nouvel and Rem Koolhaas. Museum 1 is devoted to the exhibition of traditional Korean artwork. Museum 2 showcases the collection of modern and contemporary works. Finally, the Samsung Child Education & Culture Center supplements the two museums by contributing to the cultural education of our future leaders These architectural works are designed to accommodate the past, present, and future of art and culture.

Press contact:
BoKeum Shim, Public Relations Team
T +82 2 2014 6553 / bokeum.shim [​at​] samsung.com


Haegue Yang at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
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February 11, 2015

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