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

Kyungah Ham, What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities BK 03-05, 2016 / 2017 
North Korean Hand Embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, anxiety, censorship, ideology, wooden frame, appox. 
2200 hrs/2persons, 245 x 180 cm

Kyungah Ham, What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities BK 03-05, 2016 / 2017
North Korean Hand Embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, anxiety, censorship, ideology, wooden frame, appox.
2200 hrs/2persons, 245 x 180 cm

Kyungah Ham,  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

Kyungah Ham, 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

Kyungah Ham,  What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities DSR 02-D-02-L , 2015 / 2016, North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, tension, anxiety, censorship, ideology, wooden frame, approx. 1200hrs/1person, 115 x 170 cm

Kyungah Ham, What you see is the unseen / Chandeliers for Five Cities DSR 02-D-02-L, 2015 / 2016, North Korean hand embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, tension, anxiety, censorship, ideology, wooden frame, approx. 1200hrs/1person, 115 x 170 cm

Kyungah Ham,  Abstract Weave / Morris Louis Untitled 1960 SS02 , 2014 
Machine embroidery on cotton, collected internet world news, tassel, wooden frame, 112 x 208 cm

Kyungah Ham, Abstract Weave / Morris Louis Untitled 1960 SS02, 2014
Machine embroidery on cotton, collected internet world news, tassel, wooden frame, 112 x 208 cm

Kyungah Ham,  Abstract Weave / Morris Louis Zayin 1958 SS01-01 , 2015 
Machine embroidery on cotton, collected internet world news, tassel, wooden frame, 123 x 168 cm

Kyungah Ham, Abstract Weave / Morris Louis Zayin 1958 SS01-01, 2015
Machine embroidery on cotton, collected internet world news, tassel, wooden frame, 123 x 168 cm

Kyungah Ham, 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

Kyungah Ham, 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

Kyungah Ham,  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

Kyungah Ham, 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

Kyungah Ham,  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

Kyungah Ham, 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

Kyungah Ham,  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

Kyungah Ham, 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

Kyungah Ham,  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

Kyungah Ham, 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

Kyungah Ham,  Needling Whisper, Needle Country/ SMS Series in Camouflage / At First, it is the dark C02-01-02 , 2014 / 
2015, North Korean Hand Embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, anxiety, censorship, wooden frame, approx. 1000 
hrs/1 person, 146 x 140 cm

Kyungah Ham, Needling Whisper, Needle Country/ SMS Series in Camouflage / At First, it is the dark C02-01-02, 2014 /
2015, North Korean Hand Embroidery, silk threads on cotton, middle man, anxiety, censorship, wooden frame, approx. 1000
hrs/1 person, 146 x 140 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

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