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  • A view of the installation at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York City. (Photo: Ariel Ione Williams/Guggenheim Museum).

    Only the Young: Experimental Art in Korea, 1960s–1970s examines the groundbreaking and genre-defying body of artistic production from an era of remarkable transformation in South Korea.

    The Guggenheim exhibit opened in September will be on view through Jan. 7, 2024. It’s the first North American museum exhibition dedicated to Korean Experimental art (silheom misul).

    “‘Only the Young’ makes abundantly clear that the breadth and inventiveness of these artists shouldn’t be overlooked…” writes The Wall Street Journal.

    The exhibit reflects their radical approach to materials and process resulting in some of the most significant avant-garde practices of the twentieth century.

    Young artists, who came of age in the decades immediately following the Korean War, created the artworks.

    They reflect and respond to the changing socioeconomic and material conditions that were shaped by a tumultuous political landscape at home and a globalizing world beyond, according to the museum

    Spanning three tower galleries and featuring approximately eighty works, this exhibition offers an unprecedented opportunity to experience the creativity and breadth of Korean modern art.

    Bound not by a single aesthetic, but rather their search for the new, these young artists launched what would later be

    Art historian Gim Mi-gyeong coined the term “Experimental art” in the early 2000s. It’s not bound by a single aesthetic, but rather their search for the new in a definitive break from traditional painting and sculpture.

    The works on display represent a variety of mediums, including performance, installation, photography and video.

    They illustrate how Experimental artists engaged with pressing issues such as subjectivity in age of rapid modernization and globalization, and individual will at the fringes of an increasingly authoritarian state.

    What emerges is the story of how these young Korean artists harnessed the power of art to confront and re-imagine an ever-shifting present.

    Only the Young: Experimental Art in Korea, 1960s–1970s is co-organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea.

    The exhibition is co-curated by Kyung An, Associate Curator, Asian Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York, and Kang Soojung, Senior Curator, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea.

    Check out the video below: