24 October 2020 – 3 May 2021
Tate St Ives
Supported by Henry Moore Foundation and Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen. With additional support from Kvadrat, Tate Members and Tate St Ives Members. With thanks to the Li Yuan-chia Foundation and Studio Haegue Yang in Berlin and Seoul.
Open daily 10.00 – 17.20 (last admission 17.00)
For public information call +44(0)151 702 7400, visit tate.org.uk or follow @Tate #HaegueYang
Tate St Ives presents Strange Attractors, the UK’s largest exhibition to date by celebrated South Korean artist Haegue Yang. Yang is renowned for creating immersive environments from a diverse range of materials. Her sculptures and installations often use industrially made objects, interwoven with labour-intensive and craft-based processes. These processes reflect pagan cultures and their deep connection with various seasonal rituals in relation to natural phenomena. The exhibition’s title – Strange Attractors – is a concept taken from mathematics and relates to complex patterns of behaviour in chaotic natural systems. Taking this theory as a starting point, Yang’s exhibition creates an environment in which uncanny and seemingly disparate ideas, cultures, relations and time periods coexist.
For the first time at Tate St Ives, the exhibition is staged across both the award-winning top-lit gallery in the new building and the spectacular sea-facing gallery in the original building. Yang has transformed these two spaces into an open-ended exploration of geometry, abstraction and the aftermath of modernism.
The new gallery is divided by free-standing triangular wall structures. The perforation of these walls is based on a traditional geometric ‘whirlwind’ textile pattern from the Philippines. Opening up sightlines across the room, the permeable wall structures articulate the entire gallery space and cut a diagonal passageway across the centre, where Sonic Half Moons encased with patterns of nickel and brass plated bells are suspended. The paper collage series Trustworthies is installed on the blank walls and the expansive wallpaper Non-Linear and Non-Periodic Dynamics hosts the small-scaled Lacquer Paintings. Visitors to the exhibition encounter otherworldly, creature-like sculptures made of artificial straw from Yang’s The Intermediates and Sonic Intermediates series as well as the gigantic Reflected Metallic Cubist Dancing Mask.
Strange Attractors addresses the context of St Ives and its relationship to modernism by bringing three artistic figures together. The new sculptural ensemble Sonic Intermediates – Three Differential Equations is in fact based on historic as well as imaginary encounters among artists Naum Gabo, Barbara Hepworth, Li Yuan-chia and perhaps Haegue Yang herself.
The Cornish landscape and its ancient archaeological heritage are important points of inspiration. Mundus Cushion – Yielding X incorporates Yang’s variations on ‘church kneelers’ – traditionally depicting religious symbols – which Yang has abstracted into her own unique explorations of the sacred and the secular.
Two layers of translucent fabric cover the entire length of the gallery's curved glass front, facing the sea. The fabric’s shimmering colour overlaps with the hue of the ocean beyond, while its moiré effect casts a blue-green light over a group of ethereal drying rack sculptures, Non-Indépliables, nues.
Haegue Yang: Strange Attractors is curated by Anne Barlow, Director of Tate St Ives, with Assistant Curator Giles Jackson. It will be accompanied by a catalogue published by Tate Publishing and designed by Berlin-based Studio Manuel Raeder.
ABOUT HAEGUE YANG
Haegue Yang (b. 1971) lives and works in Berlin, Germany and Seoul, South Korea. She is a Professor at the Staedelschule in Frankfurt am Main. Yang has participated in major international exhibitions including the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018), La Biennale de Montréal (2016), the 12th Sharjah Biennial (2015), the 9th Taipei Biennial (2014), dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel (2012) and the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009) as the South Korean representative. Yang is also the recipient of the 2018 Wolfgang Hahn Prize. Her survey exhibition titled ETA held at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne in the same year presented over 120 works from 1994-2018.
Her recent solo exhibitions include Handles, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2019); In the Cone of Uncertainty; The Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach (2019); Tracing Movement, South London Gallery (2019); Chronotopic Traverses, La Panacée-MoCo, Montpellier (2018); Tightrope Walking and Its Wordless Shadow, La Triennale di Milano (2018); Triple Vita Nestings, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, which travelled from the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2018); VIP’s Union, Kunsthaus Graz (2017); Silo of Silence – Clicked Core, KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2017); Lingering Nous, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); Quasi-Pagan Serial, Hamburger Kunsthalle (2016); Come Shower or Shine, It Is Equally Blissful, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2015); and Shooting the Elephant 象 Thinking the Elephant, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul (2015). Current projects include her first North American survey show, Emergence, at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto open until 31 January 2021, The Cone of Concern at MCAD Manila and O2 & H20 at the MMCA, Seoul, both open until 28 February 2021.
Yang’s work is included in permanent collections such as the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Museum of Modern Art, New York; M+, Hong Kong; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, South Korea; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Modern, London; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Her work has been the subject of numerous monographs, such as Haegue Yang: Anthology 2006–2018: Tightrope Walking and Its Wordless Shadow (2019); Haegue Yang: ETA 1994–2018 (2018); Haegue Yang – VIP’s Union (2017); and Haegue Yang: Family of Equivocations (2013).
Kvadrat was established in Denmark in 1968 and has deep roots in Scandinavia’s design tradition. Kvadrat continuously works to expand the aesthetic, technological, and artistic boundaries of the use of textiles through a long series of collaborations with some of the world’s best designers, architects, and artists, including Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Patricia Urquiola, Pipilotti Rist, Thomas Demand, Olafur Eliasson, Alfredo Häberli, Doshi Levien, Akira Minagawa, Vincent van Duysen and Peter Saville.