Haegue Yang

Haegue Yang

Bergen Kunsthall

Haegue Yang, Sonic Figures, 2013.*

October 8, 2013

Haegue Yang
Journal Of Echomimetic Motions
18 October–22 December 2013

Opening: 18 October, 8pm 

Bergen Kunsthall
Rasmus Meyers allé 5
5015 Bergen

T +47 55 55 93 10
bergen [​at​] kunsthall.no


Curated by Steinar Sekkingstad

For Haegue Yang’s first solo exhibition in the Nordic region she presents a series of new works conceived especially for Bergen Kunsthall.

Yang’s works are internationally appreciated, and known for their eloquent and seductive language of visual abstraction that is often combined with sensory experiences. Lesser known is her ongoing research, which is empowered by close readings of connecting biographical narratives of historical figures, and builds on underlying references to cultural, social and political history. 

Continuing her dialogue with the canon of modernist art, this time Yang explores her interest in the figurative and spatial elements of the Bauhaus master Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet from 1922. The exhibition space is transformed into an experimental stage where sculptures and wall pieces form both scenic elements and active protagonists. A series of five new sculptures on casters or on steel wire are surrounded by a scenic environment of collages made of used envelopes and sandpaper, painted walls and floors. These elements of colour, texture, geometry and composition reconfigure the order of the ballet’s three acts into a spatial arrangement and complete an expansive installation.

Yang occupies the exhibition space with sophisticated sensory experiences that include sound, light and tactility. The Sonic Rotating Lines and Sonic Rotating Geometry envelop the exhibition with sound, creating a specific atmosphere that is visual, spatial and aural. These ‘lines’ and ‘geometric shapes’ are wall-mounted objects that are covered with nickel-plated bells, and can be propelled into rotation by hand, which transforms the hard-edged shapes into ‘circles,’ disintegrating the rigorous physical geometry into another illusory geometry of circles. The act of spinning also causes the bells to tinkle, filling the surrounding space with a rhythm of sound, which corresponds to the speed of rotation. Bells have been a recurring element in a number of Yang’s works over the past few years; only very recently have they been used as a principal material in several new sculptures, including Sonicwears (2013), Sonic Rotating Ovals (2013) and Sonic Dances (2013). 

Mobility and motion have been another focus for Yang over the past few years. Mobility is associated here, not only in purely physical or formal terms (with mechanical devices and kinetic constructions), but also in political and historical terms. Mobility and motion correspond to major concerns to which Yang constantly returns: migration, postcolonial diasporas, enforced exile, social mobility or what one could perhaps call ‘lifetime mobility.’ With her mobile performative sculptures, Yang negates the static furnishings of the exhibition space with its fixed installations and carefully placed objects. By allowing the sculptures to move, Yang introduces instability and continuous change into an otherwise solid institutional framework. Understood as complex concepts, motion and mobility become a fruitful focus for Yang’s multi-faceted artistic exploration. 

Haegue Yang (b. 1971) was born in Seoul and currently lives and works in Berlin and Seoul.

Haegue Yang
Dare To Count Phonemes And Graphemes
Haegue Yang presents two parallel solo exhibitions in the autumn of 2013 at Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway and at Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Glasgow, Scotland. Each exhibition is independent in terms of its manifestation, yet they are intrinsically linked to Yang’s continuous and evolutionary artistic developments. These developments are emblematic of the artist’s recent projects that focus on the notion of abstraction and the idea of movement. In the framework of these geographically separated, yet closely conceived exhibitions, a new collaborative publication is being developed. The publication will be launched in December 2013, containing two newly commissioned English-language essays by Ute Meta Bauer and Kathy Noble, as well as an interview with the exhibition curators of both institutions—Kyla McDonald and Steinar Sekkingstad. 

Book launch: December 15 at Bergen Kunsthall
Co-published by: Sternberg Press, Bergen Kunsthall and Glasgow Sculpture Studios
Design: Studio Manuel Raeder

*Haegue Yang, Sonic Figures (in process), 2013. Steel stand, metal grid, metal bars, powder coating, steel wire, brass plated bells, metal rings, casters. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Studio Haegue Yang.


Haegue Yang at Bergen Kunsthall
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Bergen Kunsthall
October 8, 2013

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