ART AND SEOUL: The Frieze Seoul frenzy will kick off Sept. 2 with “Lady Dior Celebration,” a new exhibit featuring 24 contemporary Korean artists at the house’s Seongsu-dong concept store.
The exhibit brings together a collective of eclectic artists to continue the interpretations of work inspired by the house’s famous Lady Dior handbag.
Lee Bul’s famed “Cella” sculpture, originally created for the Miss Dior exhibit at Paris’ Grand Palais in 2013, will sit center stage. The 16-foot tall crystal-shaped suspended cocoon invites the viewer inside the reflective piece.
Twenty-four Korean artists will create two interpretations each, for a total of 42 pieces on display.
Dior settled on Seoul for the exhibit due to its growing voice in the global cultural scene — not to mention its thriving luxury market — and the house’s historical ties to art.
“The ‘Lady Dior Celebration’ exhibition, which runs parallel to Frieze, is a unique and exceptional event, celebrating the powerful ties forged between Dior and South Korea, as well as the many unfailing affinities that unite our house and the art world,” Dior chief executive officer Delphine Arnault told WWD.
“At the heart of this unprecedented occasion, the Lady Dior, a timeless icon in perpetual reinvention, is reinterpreted by a selection of prestigious contemporary artists, pushing the limits of the imagination and savoir-faire of excellence more than ever; a fascinating, multifaceted tribute to the passion for creativity cultivated by Monsieur Dior, who was a collector and gallery owner long before he became a couturier,” she added.
“Odes to the beauty of dreams and emotions, these fascinating works — including those by emblematic Korean artists, are revealed in this exclusive retrospective,” the company added in revealing the artistic slate. “These leading creators, with their multiple imaginations, share the same goal: to translate and poetically sublimate the excellence and essence of the Lady Dior object of desire.”
Among the creators contributing to the exhibit are sculptor Bahk Seon-Ghi, visual artist and production designer Choi Jeong Hwa, still-life painter Gigisue, multimedia humorist Gimhongsok and monochrome Dansaekhwa artist Ha Chong Hyun.
Photographer Heewon Kim, sketch artist Jia Lee, Jay Sae Jung Oh, whose works with sustainable materials blur the lines between sculpture and furniture, and Jukhee Kwon, who works with disused books, will also be featured.
Other artists in a range of disciplines include Jungjin Lee, Jungpyo Hong, Kwangho Lee, Kyungwoo Chun, Lee Hun Chung, Lee Kun-Yong, Minjung Kim, Oh You Kyeong, Ran Hwang, Soo Sunny Park, Suki Seokyeong Kang and Wonmin Park. Yesum Yoon and Zadie Xa will also be part of the retrospective.
The works will surround the central exhibit space in which Bul’s “Cella” serves as the anchor, with themed rooms jutting off like spokes to feature specific pieces and shapes, including a room dedicated to the Lady D-lite embroidered version and another to the rectangular Lady D-joy. Bags are perched atop mirrored pedestals, on display under glass, while others are tucked into coves.
The new exhibit is a spin on the “Lady Dior as Seen By” roving exhibit the brand launched in Shanghai and traveled the world to Hong Kong, Milan, Tokyo, São Paulo and Berlin over the decade to 2021, and the Dior Lady Art project, which pulled in artists from as far afield as China, Egypt and Qatar.
The second edition of Frieze Seoul is scheduled to take place Sept. 6 to 9 at the COEX convention center in the city. The “Lady Dior Celebration” exhibit will run until Sept. 17.