Please join us on Saturday, April 1, from 4–5 PM, for a conversation between Mandy El-Sayegh and Sara Raza. Come early for a special performance by the artist at 3:30 PM.
RSVP to confirm your space.
Lehmann Maupin announces representation of Korean artist, Sung Neung Kyung. For over five decades, Sung’s interdisciplinary practice has influenced discourses around performance, Conceptualism, and politics. He is known for his involvement in the avant-garde Korean art group Space and Time, an art and research collective. The collective was active in South Korea during the politically turbulent 70s and 80s and responded to these social conditions by staking out its own ground in relation to Western art and theory. Looking ahead, Sung’s work will be prominently featured in the group exhibition Experimental Art in South Korea, 1960s–70s, opening at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) in May, and then traveling to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in September, and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, in early 2024. The gallery will present historical work by the artist as part of its upcoming presentation at Art Basel Hong Kong (Booth 1C16).
Emma Son, Director, says: “Welcoming Sung Neung Kyung to the program is an honor and a privilege. His beautifully complex oeuvre, which includes genre-defying performances and historically significant artworks, has paved the way for performance art in Korea and beyond. His canonical works have not only sparked urgent conversations about politics, identity, and the body, but also continue to expand our understanding of contemporary artmaking. I look forward to placing him in dialogue with the rest of our program, and introducing audiences in Europe and the Americas to his work.”
A pioneer of the South Korean avant-garde, Sung has played a key role in expanding the genre of hybrid performance in a global context throughout his decades-long career. In his ongoing performance work, Sung engages his own body as an artistic medium—eschewing tools such as pencils or paint brushes to inscribe marks made directly by physical gesture. Self-exaggeration, excessive noise, and disorder are often key elements of his performances, highlighting the disconnect between the chaotic creative process and the polished final product. By disrupting and denaturalizing the white cube space, Sung’s oeuvre often operates in the realm of institutional critique.
Katherine Rochester, Curatorial Director, reflects: “Since emerging as a key voice in the South Korean avant-garde, Sung Neung Kyung has inventively used the materials of everyday life to provoke an authentic reaction to our shared histories. His experimental performances center open communication with audiences through playful gestures that elicit novel expression. This dynamism defines Sung Neung Kyung’s long practice and makes him a lynchpin in any discussion of conceptual art’s rich history—and continued influence—in Korean and beyond.”
About the artist
Sung (b. 1944, Yesan, South Korea, lives and works in Seoul, South Korea) received his B.F.A. from Hongik University in Seoul, South Korea, in 1967. Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized by Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, South Korea (forthcoming); Baik Art, Seoul, South Korea (2023); Arko Art Center, Seoul, South Korea (2001); Samduk Gallery, Daegu, South Korea (1991); Cheongpa Theater, Seoul, South Korea (1998); and Kwanhoon Gallery, Seoul, South Korea (1985).
Select group exhibitions featuring his work include Only the Young: Experimental Art in South Korea, 1960s–70s, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY (forthcoming); Masquerade, National Museum of Contemporary Art Korea, Gwacheon, South Korea (2022); New Acquisitions 2020, Daejeon Museum of Art, Daejeon, South Korea (2021); Catastrophe and Recovery, National Museum of Contemporary Art Korea, Seoul, South Korea (2021); CORPUS GESTUS VOX, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan, South Korea (2021); Dear My Grandchild, Hello Museum, Seoul, South Korea (2019); The Square: Art and Society in Korea 1900–2019, National Museum of Contemporary Art Korea, Gwacheon, South Korea (2019); Drawing: Korean Modern and Contemporary Drawings, Seoul Olympic Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea (2019); Awakenings: Art and Society in Asia 1960s–1990s, travelled to the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, South Korea; and National Gallery Singapore, Singapore (2018-19); Frames After Frames: Modern Photography Movement of Korea from 1988 to 1999, Daegu Art Museum, Daegu, South Korea (2018); Digital Promenade, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea (2018); Dor-raemitabul, Zaha Museum, Seoul, South Korea (2018); Renegades in Resistance and Challenge, Daegu Art Museum, Daegu, South Korea (2018); Reenacting History: Collective Actions and Everyday Gestures, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, South Korea (2017); Asian Diva: The Muse and The Monster, Buk-Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea (2017); Rehearsals from the Korean Avant-Garde Performance Archive, Korean Cultural Centre UK, London, United Kingdom (2017); Samramansang: From Kim Whanki to Yang Fudong, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea (2017); Ha-Neul Bonpuri, Zaha Museum, Seoul, South Korea (2017); Public to Private: Photography in Korean Art since 1989, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea (2016); As the Moon Waxes and Wanes, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, South Korea (2016); Living Together, Happy Together, Namsangol Hanok Village, Seoul, South Korea (2015); Closer to Contemporary Art Ⅱ – Abstract Art is Real, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan, South Korea (2013); Mapping the Realities, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea (2012); Jack-of-all-trades: Korean Historical Conceptual Art 1970–80s, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan, South Korea (2010), and more.