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.



International exhibitions

International Archives 2nd half of 2023

Haeghe Yang, Continuous Reenactments

HAM, Helsinki (Finland)

24.11.2023 - 07.04.2024




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.

Haegue Yang sets a multisensory field of reenactments at HAM.

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.  

he exhibition has been curated by HAM’s Head of Exhibitions Kati Kivinen and Curator Sanna Tuulikangas.

The exhibition is realised in partnership with S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium and is supported by the Finnish Heritage Agency.

Haegue Yang (b. 1971, Seoul) currently lives and works between Berlin and Seoul. Spanning a vast range of media—from collages to performative sculptures and room-scaled installations—Yang’s work links disparate histories and traditions in a unique visual idiom. She is undoubtedly regarded as one of the most celebrated artists of our time yet remains elusive due to the diversity and complexity of her interests and methods of abstraction.

The artist draws on a variety of craft techniques and materials, and the cultural connotations they carry: from drying racks to venetian blinds, hanji (traditional Korean mulberry paper) to artificial straw. Her multisensory environments activate our perception beyond the visual, creating immersive experiences that address issues such as labour, migration, and displacement from the oblique vantage of the aesthetic. Ensuring that her references remain wayward and personalised, Yang prizes fluidity over unified narratives.

Yang was the winner of the Wolfgang Hahn Prize from Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne in 2018 and the 13th Benesse Prize at the Singapore Biennale in 2022. Her solo exhibitions have been hosted at the following institutions: National Gallery of Australia (2023); S.M.A.K., Ghent (2023); Pinacoteca de São Paulo (2023); SMK – National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen (2022); Tate St Ives (2020); MoMA, New York (2019); The Bass, Miami Beach (2019); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2018); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); Leeum, Seoul (2015); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2011); and the South Korea Pavilion, 53rd Venice Biennale (2009); among others. 

Haeghe Yang, Continuous Reenactments, HAM, Helsinki, Finland

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2023. All Rights Reserved

Exhibition 24 November 2023 - 07 April 2024. HAM, Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 8 - 00100 Helsinki. Hours : Mon (Closed), Tues 10-17.30. Wed-Sun 11.30-19.