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Haegue Yang: Emergence opening October 1

New installation by acclaimed South Korean artist transforms the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Sculpture Atrium. 

 

Woven Currents – Confluence of Parallels

Haegue Yang, Woven Currents – Confluence of Parallels, 2020. Aluminum venetian blinds, powder-coated aluminum hanging structure, steel wire rope, LED tubes, cable. Dimensions variable. Purchase, with funds from Eleanor and Francis Shen, the David Yuile and Mary Elizabeth Hodgson Fund, Women’s Art Initiative, the Janet and Michael Scott Fund, the Contemporary Circle Fund, the Richard Ivey Foundation Contemporary Art Fund, Sandra and Leo Del Zotto, the Jay Smith and Laura Rapp Fund, and the Molly Gilmour Fund, 2020. 2020/22. Photography by Craig Boyko, AGO Image © 2020.

Haegue Yang: Emergence, the first North American survey exhibition by the acclaimed South Korean artist, will open October 1. In celebration, the AGO has commissioned two new works by the artist—and you can see one of them right now! (Once the full exhibition opens, you'll see another 82 works by Yang on Level 5 of the Vivian & David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art.)

Suspended in the Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Sculpture Atrium (Level 1), Woven CurrentsConfluence of Parallels (2020) is a large-scale installation composed of hanging venetian blinds and LED tubes. The Sculpture Atrium was designated early on as the site for the commission, in large part due to Yang’s interest in the layered architectural history of the space—living proof of the AGO’s numerous expansions and built forms since 1901. This complex commission by one of the world’s leading contemporary artists is expected to remain on view at least through fall of 2021.

Aluminum venetian blinds, powder-coated aluminum hanging structure, steel wire rope, LED tubes, cable.

Haegue Yang, Woven Currents – Confluence of Parallels, 2020 (detail). Aluminum venetian blinds, powder-coated aluminum hanging structure, steel wire rope, LED tubes, cable. Dimensions variable. Purchase, with funds from Eleanor and Francis Shen, the David Yuile and Mary Elizabeth Hodgson Fund, Women’s Art Initiative, the Janet and Michael Scott Fund, the Contemporary Circle Fund, the Richard Ivey Foundation Contemporary Art Fund, Sandra and Leo Del Zotto, the Jay Smith and Laura Rapp Fund, and the Molly Gilmour Fund, 2020. 2020/22. Photography by Craig Boyko, AGO Image © 2020.

Haegue Yang: Emergence slide 1
Aluminum venetian blinds, powder-coated aluminum hanging structure, steel wire rope, LED tubes, cable.

Haegue Yang, Woven Currents – Confluence of Parallels, 2020 (detail). Aluminum venetian blinds, powder-coated aluminum hanging structure, steel wire rope, LED tubes, cable. Dimensions variable. Purchase, with funds from Eleanor and Francis Shen, the David Yuile and Mary Elizabeth Hodgson Fund, Women’s Art Initiative, the Janet and Michael Scott Fund, the Contemporary Circle Fund, the Richard Ivey Foundation Contemporary Art Fund, Sandra and Leo Del Zotto, the Jay Smith and Laura Rapp Fund, and the Molly Gilmour Fund, 2020. 2020/22. Photography by Craig Boyko, AGO Image © 2020.

Haegue Yang: Emergence slide 2
Aluminum venetian blinds, powder-coated aluminum hanging structure, steel wire rope, LED tubes, cable.

Haegue Yang, Woven Currents – Confluence of Parallels, 2020 (detail). Aluminum venetian blinds, powder-coated aluminum hanging structure, steel wire rope, LED tubes, cable. Dimensions variable. Purchase, with funds from Eleanor and Francis Shen, the David Yuile and Mary Elizabeth Hodgson Fund, Women’s Art Initiative, the Janet and Michael Scott Fund, the Contemporary Circle Fund, the Richard Ivey Foundation Contemporary Art Fund, Sandra and Leo Del Zotto, the Jay Smith and Laura Rapp Fund, and the Molly Gilmour Fund, 2020. 2020/22. Photography by Craig Boyko, AGO Image © 2020.

Haegue Yang: Emergence slide 3

Woven CurrentsConfluence of Parallels exposes the layered architecture of the AGO and makes its intricate history visible,” says Yang. “The genesis for this work was the Two Row Wampum Treaty of 1613, a belt made from wampum shells that I learned about while at the AGO. The belt is an agreement between the Five Nations of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) and the Dutch government. I was struck by how powerful this treaty is, unlike legal documents we are accustomed to, and how an object can clearly convey a lasting message about the values, hopes and beliefs of those who created it. These thoughts led me to connect the parallel lines of the wampum belt, which map a trajectory for two very different peoples, to the linear structure of venetian blinds. Like history itself, these lines are entangled.”

two row wampum

Two Row Wampum Belt. Courtesy of the Woodland Cultural Centre 

In the Two Row Wampum Treaty, two parallel rows of purple beads symbolize two vessels—the Haudenosaunee canoe and the Dutch ship. The belt’s composition suggests the two boats might travel side-by-side through the water in peace and non-interference—though, as history has shown, these treaties are not always respected and the paths were never so smooth.

Admission to see Woven CurrentsConfluence of Parallels is free for AGO Members, Annual Pass holders and visitors aged 25 and under. Stay tuned for more exciting details about Haegue Yang: Emergence and book your timed-entry tickets today.

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