This year Frieze Seoul goes multidisciplinary. Beyond the main art fair, now in its second year, an expanded line-up of film and music promises a wide survey of the country’s creative scene. As well as screenings and live performances, visitors are also invited to discover the city’s non-profit art spaces, which, according to curators Sungah Serena Choo and Kim Sung-woo, “are the core of generating dynamism in Korean contemporary art”.

The pair are behind the second iteration of Frieze Film in Seoul, which spotlights the city’s rich film and video production through 14 artists at four non-profit venues. Titled It was the way of walking through narrative, the programme aims to explore how storytelling in film can be used to reveal hidden or forgotten histories or, in the words of the curators, “to describe narratives that exist under the superficial level of today’s phenomena, in the imaginary and alternative levels.”

A fly and streaks of paint on a white screen
‘Bertinker’ (2022) by Han Uri © Courtesy the artist

Han Uri, for instance, collapses fiction and reality in Bertinker (at Boan1942, Tongui-dong district), a film inspired by a myth taken from a 17th-century German star map. Also shown here is Kim Daum’s four-channel video “Blind Land”, which explores private and public space as different narrators reflect on their experience in living in the densely populated cities of Seoul, Hong Kong and Taipei.

Works creatively blend sound and image, the physical and digital worlds. At Insa Art Space in Samcheong-dong, An Jungju uses interpretative dance choreographed to music based on mundane sounds — a passing plane, a draft from a vent — to create a rhythmic portrait of everyday life in “kick, clap, hat”. Omyo Cho’s “Barrel Eyes”, a video and VR work, imagines a future where people’s memories can be transmitted into others’ lives, inviting viewers to follow a computerised big cat through a surreal “memorial forest”.

Frontal shot of a pale woman wearing a purple top
‘Barrel Eyes’ (2022) by Omyo Cho is showing at Insa Art Space in Samcheong-dong . . . 
Close-up of darkened trees with a black cat by a lake in the middle ground
. . . and depicts a ‘memorial forest’ in a world where we can receive others’ memories © Courtesy the artist (2)

With these narrative experiments, Choo and Kim hope the programme will open up new perspectives and alternate realities. “By constructing time and space and oscillating between microscopic and macroscopic views,” they say, “the works deliver imaginary possibilities that connect the past, the present and the future non-linearly, while examining today’s condition.”

As well as these screenings, which also unfold across Amado Art Space and Mother Offline, the inaugural edition of Frieze Music in Seoul brings a live performance by singer-songwriter Colde to the city during Frieze week. The performance is invite-only, but members of the public will have a chance to win a ticket in a competition on Instagram. Together the two programmes highlight how Frieze continues to bridge the gaps between creative disciplines.

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