Continuous Reenactments
November 24, 2023 – April 7, 2024
Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland

Installation view of Continuous Reenactments, Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland, 2023
Photo: Kirsi Halkola

 

Installation view of Continuous Reenactments, Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland, 2023
Video: Aino Mättö

 

Activation of Handles, 2019, in the frame of Continuous Reenactments, Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland, 2023
Video: Aino Mättö and Teemu Lehto

 

Press Release

HAM is delighted to present Haegue Yang’s first solo exhibition in Finland. Taking over HAM’s two main exhibition halls, Continuous Reenactments will offer a profound insight into Yang’s prolific and virtuosic works.

Dividing her time between Germany and Korea since the mid-1990s, Haegue Yang (Seoul, 1971) has been gathering inspiration from a wide range of social, historical, and cultural environments. Her relentless curiosity has led to philosophical inquiries into diverse fields, including socio-political narratives, scientific phenomena, and anthropological perspectives, positioning her at the forefront of the contemporary art world today.

Yang is renowned for her labour-intensive, yet unrestricted craft-based methods drawn from various folk traditions, melding arrays of organic and synthetic materials together with industrially manufactured items. Embracing fluidity and contradiction, Yang’s artistic approach transcends boundaries and sparks fresh perspectives. Combining rich materiality, conceptual complexity, and an abundance of visual references, her exhibitions create immersive sensory experiences in the language of visual abstraction.

For HAM’s main exhibition halls, Yang builds an enthralling arena with sonic and performative elements to examine the concepts of recurrence and reenactment. Manifested through symmetric and asymmetric pairs, complementing duos, and interconnected groups of artworks, Yang investigates the ideas of doubling, mirroring, and reiterating, hereby pairing and juxtaposing seemingly oppositional notions such as abstraction and figuration, domesticity and public, revealing their inseparability.

At the heart of the exhibition, visitors will encounter two monumental sculptural ensembles: Handles (2019) and Warrior Believer Lover – Version Sonic (2023). Both sculptural ensembles prominently feature metallic bells, which emit resonating rattling sounds when set in motion and are meanwhile perceived as one of the artist’s signature materials. Handles, which first premiered at MoMA in New York in 2019, is a multisensory installation comprising six sculptures with elements of wall objects and floor graphic adhesives, and an intricate soundscape. These sculptures are transformative, turning mundane objects into visually striking, movable artworks, and can be seen as hybrids, blurring the distinctions between human and technological beings. Warrior Believer Lover – Version Sonic is a reenactment of Warrior Believer Lover, Yang’s ambitious sculptural ensemble from 2011. While the predecessor consists of 33 anthropomorphic light sculptures, the new Version Sonic has so far evolved into a group of 21 sculptures, still in process of its completion. Their skin is covered with bells and festooned with wigs, artificial plants, solar panels, and LED lights alongside authentic organic materials such as dried pinecones. Periodically, music by Isang Yun (1917–1995) and Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971) will accompany Handles and Warrior Believer Lover – Version Sonic respectively, creating immersive sculptural symphonies.

 

Download exhibition booklet

 

Haegue Yang Talks: Anders Kreuger, in the frame of Continuous Reenactments, Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland, 2024

 

Exhibited works

Warrior Believer Lover – Version Sonic, 2023

Stacked Corners, 2022

Sonic Droplets – Steel Buds, 2022

Sonic Guards, 2022

The Source of Spring is in the Trace of a Movement, 2021

Mesmerizing Mesh, 2021-

Sonic Coupe Copper - Enclosed Unity, 2019

Sonic Coupe Nickel - Enclosed Unity, 2019

Sonic Gate - Law of Nine, 2019

Sonic Handles - For Head and Heart, 2019

Sonic Handles - Law of Three Bodies, 2019

Sonic Handles - The Fourth Force, 2019

Jahnstraße 5, 2017

Trustworthies, 2010-

Doubles and Halves – Events with Nameless Neighbors, 2009

Squandering Negative Spaces, 2006

Unfolding Places, 2004

 

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