Haegue Yang - Mountains of Encounter


Haegue Yang (b. 1971 in Seoul) lives and works in Berlin and Seoul. She completed her studies in sculpture at the Seoul National University (BFA) and the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main, where she herself has taught since 2017. Her diverse oeuvre ranges from objects and photographs to videos and installations. In her at once conceptual and sensually complex works, with which she, inter alia, participated at the Venice Biennale (2009) and documenta 13 (2012), Yang explores individual and collective forms of movement between history and the present. In 2018 she was awarded the Wolfgang Hahn Prize from the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst and the Museum Ludwig concurrently organized the first survey exhibition of her work worldwide.

Haegue Yang: Mountains of Encounter, 2008, installation view Museum Ludwig © Haegue Yang, Foto: Šaša Fuis, Cologne

Mountains of Encounter, 2008

Consisting of red aluminum blinds, suspended from the ceiling at various heights, and searchlights, the expansive installation forms the starting point for a whole series of venetian blind installations by Haegue Yang and enriches the collection of the Museum Ludwig with a further important work by the artist. In Mountains of Encounter the permeability of the materials used is put to the test: “There is a tragic quality in the relation between object and light,” Yang has commented. “While light illuminates an object, the light source gets forgotten.” The work, which, depending on the light conditions, recalls a moonlit mountain landscape or a building under surveillance, refers to a specific historical event: the encounter between the Korean independence fighter Kim San and the American journalist Nym Wales (alias Helen Foster Snow) on July 7, 1937 in the Chinese mountain region of Yan’an.