Press Release

Hyundai Commission: Anicka Yi

Tate Modern
12 October 2021 - 16 January 2022

Anicka Yi portrait

Anicka Yi. Photo courtesy: David Heald

This autumn, Tate Modern’s annual Hyundai Commission will once again return to the gallery’s iconic Turbine Hall with a major new site-specific work from conceptual artist Anicka Yi. Launching in October 2021, this year’s Hyundai Commission will be Yi’s largest and most ambitious project to date.

Anicka Yi (b.1971, Seoul) fuses artistic imagination and scientific research. Drawing on disciplines as wide ranging as biology, biochemistry, anthropology and philosophy, her work speculates about the present in relation to our shared futures including the evolution of artificial intelligence, climate emergency and migration. She is known for the way her works activate different senses and for experimenting with unorthodox materials that have ranged from tempura batter to kombucha leather. At the 2019 Venice Biennale, Yi created giant pods made of kelp filled with animatronic insects, as well as panels of soil in which an artificial intelligence controlled the environment of living organisms. Other recent projects have featured a fragrance incorporating chemical compounds from humans and ants, and a display of metal pins corroding in ultrasonic gel. Yi’s new work for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall later this year will continue her highly experimental cross-disciplinary approach.

Frances Morris, Director, Tate Modern said:
“Anicka Yi has developed a reputation for highly innovative work. Her installations are unforgettable, using the latest scientific ideas and experimental materials in unexpected ways. The results not only engage the senses, but also tackle some of the big questions we face today about humanity’s relationship to nature and technology.”

Wonhong Cho, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Hyundai Motor, said: “We are delighted to support the sixth annual Hyundai Commission by Anicka Yi. Her exploratory and interdisciplinary works add valuably to contemporary conversations surrounding art and science, and we look forward to how her work will reflect on the ever-evolving connections between humans and technologies.”

Since Tate Modern opened in 2000, the Turbine Hall has hosted some of the world’s most memorable and acclaimed works of contemporary art, reaching an audience of millions each year. The way artists have interpreted this vast industrial space has revolutionised public perceptions of contemporary art in the twenty-first century. The annual Hyundai Commission gives artists an opportunity to create new work for this unique context. The commissions are made possible by the long-term partnership between Tate and Hyundai Motor, confirmed until 2025 as part of the longest initial commitment from a corporate partner in Tate’s history.

Hyundai Commission: Anicka Yi will be curated by Achim Borchardt-Hume, Director of Exhibitions and Programmes; Mark Godfrey, former Senior Curator, International Art; Carly Whitefield, Assistant Curator, International Art and Petra Schmidt, Production Manager. In partnership with Hyundai Motor, with additional support from the Anicka Yi Supporters Circle and Tate Americas Foundation. It will be accompanied by a new book from Tate Publishing.