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Haegue Yang

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HAM Helsinki Art Museum is honoured to present  internationally renowned artist Haegue Yang’s first solo exhibition in Finland.

Haegue Yang: Sonic Medicine Man – Out of Cave, 2023. © Courtesy of the artist, Photo: Studio Haegue Yang

Known for her artistic practice that combines a variety of materials and methods, Yang references diverse sources ranging from socio-political narratives, scientific phenomena, and art histories to anthropological perspectives. Her formally rigorous composition of industrially manufactured objects often requires labour-intensive production for many of her sculptures and installations. All of these form recurring pairings of seemingly oppositional concepts, such as abstraction and figuration as well as the ready-made and craftsmanship.

Yang’s solo exhibition at HAM will present two major monumental sculptural ensembles, Handles (2019) and Warrior Believer Lover – Version Sonic (2023), in the main exhibition halls. Consisting of six sculptures that premiered at MoMA in New York in 2019, Handles not only physically occupies the floor of the exhibition space but also incorporates the wall and the air with their sound components, thus appearing as hybrid bodies, part-abstract, part-object. Warrior Believer Lover – Version Sonic is a re-enactment of Warrior Believer Lover from 2011. A multipart sculptural installation of 33 anthropomorphic light sculptures, Warrior Believer Lover was first presented at Kunsthaus Bregenz. The primary material of both sculptural ensembles are metallic bells, which are regarded today as one of the artist’s signature materials and release rattling sounds when activated. 

The exhibition is realised in partnership between S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (Ghent, Belgium) and HAM Helsinki Art Museum (Helsinki, Finland). 


Haegue Yang (b. 1971, Seoul) is undoubtedly regarded as one of the most celebrated artists of our time yet remains elusive due to the diversity and complexity of her interests and methods of abstraction. Responding to the exhibition as a place, her works incorporate the architectural and contextual aspects of the exhibition space and various materials collected locally. Her sophisticated and nuanced treatment of materiality, combined with an elegant sense of space and atmosphere, contribute to her engaging and resonant installations. 

Yang was the winner of the Wolfgang Hahn Prize from Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne in 2018 and the 13th Benesse Prize at the Singapore Biennale in 2022. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the following institutions: Pinacoteca de São Paulo (2023); SMK – National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen (2022); Tate St Ives (2020); MMCA, Seoul (2020); MoMA, New York (2019); The Bass, Miami Beach (2019); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2018); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); Leeum Museum of Art, Seoul (2015); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2011); and the South Korea Pavilion, 53rd Venice Biennale (2009); among others.