Seoul | Notes on Looking

From LA to Seoul: Félix González-Torres retrospective, Interactive art at MOLAA and Kumho, Artspectrum at Leeum, Do Ho Suh, Gala Porras-Kim

This past month I’ve been roaming around Asia, not only eating amazing food but also checking out the local art scenes in each place.  My first stop was Seoul in South Korea.  Notes on Looking contributor Andy St. Louis, who lives there, nicely organized a detailed itinerary of important and interesting art spots in this lively city.  Luckily NOL readers will soon be able to read Andy’s coverage of the upcoming 9th Gwangju Biennale. As I walked around Seoul’s many museums and galleries, I couldn’t help but make connections with LA’s art scene, more specifically LA’s Latin art scene.  First of all, the big show going on this summer until Sept 28 is Cuban-born Félix González-Torres, his first retrospective in Asia.  We know his work well in the U.S. as he died quite young in NYC in 1996, due to AIDS. Surprisingly, I first came across his work in a Seoul  subway station, a billboard of an unmade, unoccupied bed with two pillows.  Immediately I felt the sense of loss and longing that González-Torres often portrays in his work.  But I also noticed the two pillows together and touching; a feeling of love and connection is equally created.  As I traveled around the city, I began to spot the same billboard, six in total. This retrospective on view at Plateau, Samsung Museum of Art in central Seoul also has work on view at its sister museum Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, such as two round wall clocks Untitled (Perfect Lovers), which plays with the notions of love, partnership and duality (The clocks are set at the same time but...