carlier | gebauer

Kyungah Ham

Kyungah Ham’s sculptures, videos and embroidered works delve into the realm of the socio-political – questioning the labor, politics, nationhood, social identity and freedom of information in her native Korea. She explores her nation’s history as a provocateur, subtly building layers of meaning with each step in her process to kindle an enduring political discourse. Her embroidered works embody an approach initiated by Ham in 2008. Here, she collects information available in South Korea – ranging from images of Western abstract paintings to South Korean slang – and, through an intermediary, sends them as a blueprint to be embroidered in North Korea. Through the works, she extends the offer of authorship to the embroiderers, as they must occasionally alter the works due to censorship. On the surface, the works are luminous and poetic, but the real material lies in the process of information and communication within. 

Kyungah Ham (b. 1966, Seoul) received her BFA from the Seoul National University and MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She has participated in exhibitions in South Korea and internationally, including at the Kunstmuseum Bonn; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; Charlottenborg Exhibition Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark; and the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna, Austria. Her work can be found in numerous public collections, among them, Victoria & Albert Museum; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; MMCA, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; and the Seoul Museum of Art.

Exhibitions at carlier | gebauer

Biography

Texts

What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities BR 01-04 , 2016 / 2017 
North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middleman, anxiety 
censorship, ideology, wooden frame, approx. 2200 hrs / 4 persons 
250 x 382 cm

What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities BR 01-04, 2016 / 2017
North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middleman, anxiety
censorship, ideology, wooden frame, approx. 2200 hrs / 4 persons
250 x 382 cm

What you see is the unseen /Chandeliers for Five Cities DSR04-D-02 , 2016 
North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middleman, anxiety 
censorship, wooden frame,​ approx.1200hrs/ 1person, 87 x 126 cm

What you see is the unseen /Chandeliers for Five Cities DSR04-D-02, 2016
North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middleman, anxiety
censorship, wooden frame,​ approx.1200hrs/ 1person, 87 x 126 cm

What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities BR 04-04 , 2016 
North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middleman, 
anxiety, censorship, ideology, wooden frame, approx. 2200hrs/2persons, 255 x 184 cm

What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities BR 04-04, 2016
North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middleman,
anxiety, censorship, ideology, wooden frame, approx. 2200hrs/2persons, 255 x 184 cm

What you see is the unseen/ Chandeliers for Five Cities BR 03-04 , 2016 
North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middleman, 
anxiety, censorship, ideology, wooden frame, approx. 2200hrs/2person, 245 x 180 cm

What you see is the unseen/ Chandeliers for Five Cities BR 03-04, 2016
North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middleman,
anxiety, censorship, ideology, wooden frame, approx. 2200hrs/2person, 245 x 180 cm

What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities BC 02-04 , 2014 / 2016 
North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middleman, anxiety, censorship, ideology, wooden frame, approx. 1900hrs/4persons, 265,5 x 357 cm

What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities BC 02-04, 2014 / 2016
North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middleman, anxiety, censorship, ideology, wooden frame, approx. 1900hrs/4persons, 265,5 x 357 cm

What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities BC 02-05 , 2015 / 2016 
North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middleman, anxiety, censorship, 
ideology, wooden frame, approx. 2000hrs/4persons, 265,5 x 362 cm

What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities BC 02-05, 2015 / 2016
North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middleman, anxiety, censorship,
ideology, wooden frame, approx. 2000hrs/4persons, 265,5 x 362 cm

Abstract Weave / Morris Louis Alpha Upsilon 1960 NB001-01, 2014 
North Korean machine embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, 
anxiety, censorship, wooden frame, collected world Internet news articles, tassel, 195 x 354 cm

Abstract Weave / Morris Louis Alpha Upsilon 1960 NB001-01, 2014
North Korean machine embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man,
anxiety, censorship, wooden frame, collected world Internet news articles, tassel, 195 x 354 cm

Abstract Weave / Morris Louis Beta Zeta 1960-61 NB001-01 , 2014 
North Korean Machine Embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, anxiety, censorship, wooden frame, collected world Internet news articles, tassel, 195 x 344 cm

Abstract Weave / Morris Louis Beta Zeta 1960-61 NB001-01, 2014
North Korean Machine Embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, anxiety, censorship, wooden frame, collected world Internet news articles, tassel, 195 x 344 cm

Abstract Weave / Morris Louis Untitled 1960 NB001-02 , 2014 
North Korean Machine Embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middleman, anxiety, censorship, wooden frame, collected world internet news articles, tassel 

 195 x 396 cm

Abstract Weave / Morris Louis Untitled 1960 NB001-02, 2014
North Korean Machine Embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middleman, anxiety, censorship, wooden frame, collected world internet news articles, tassel

195 x 396 cm

Needling Whisper, Needle Country/ SMS Series in Camouflage / Are you lonely, too? C 01-01-04 , 2014 / 2015 
North Korean Hand Embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, anxiety, censorship, 
wooden frame, approx. 1000 hrs/ 1 person, 146 x 146 cm

Needling Whisper, Needle Country/ SMS Series in Camouflage / Are you lonely, too? C 01-01-04, 2014 / 2015
North Korean Hand Embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, anxiety, censorship,
wooden frame, approx. 1000 hrs/ 1 person, 146 x 146 cm

Needling Whisper, Needle Country/ SMS Series in Camouflage / 
Thou, If you are like me C 01-01-02 , 2014 / 2015 
North Korean Hand Embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, anxiety 
censorship, wooden frame, approx. 1000 hrs/1 person 
146 x 145 cm

Needling Whisper, Needle Country/ SMS Series in Camouflage /
Thou, If you are like me C 01-01-02
, 2014 / 2015
North Korean Hand Embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, anxiety
censorship, wooden frame, approx. 1000 hrs/1 person
146 x 145 cm