Installation view of boxing ballet

Haegue Yang, Boxing Ballet, 2013-2015. Installation view of Shooting the Elephant 象 Thinking the Elephant, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, 2015. Courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul

Haegue Yang: Emergence

October 1, 2020 - January 31, 2021


Member or Annual Pass Holder

New Visitor

This exhibition is included with General Admission.
Admission is always FREE for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass Holders & Visitors 25 and under. Learn more.

Member Previews: September 26 and 27


A leading artist of her generation, Haegue Yang (b. 1971 Seoul) is celebrated for her prolific and diverse work that evokes historical and contemporary narratives of migration, displacement and cross-cultural translation. For over two decades, Yang has been transforming how we experience everyday domestic materials, turning items such as venetian blinds, light bulbs, drying racks, knitting yarn and bells into meticulously constructed installations and sculptures. To unleash the historical and emotional resonances of these objects, Yang activates them with sounds, light, air, scents and movement.

Featuring 82 sculptures, installations and performances from the past twenty-five years, Haegue Yang: Emergence includes a selection of early works, as well as the installations: Anthology of Haegue Archives (1998), Afterimage (2006), Sallim (2009), and Boxing Ballet (2013-15). This is the first North American retrospective survey of Yang’s work to date.

The AGO has also commissioned two new installations for the exhibition. On view, suspended above the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Sculpture Atrium, Woven Currents – Confluence of Parallels (2020) is a large-scale installation composed of venetian blinds and LED tubes, inspired by the layered architectural history of the space. Tectonic Undulations – A Fugue for the Great Wilderness (2020), a new wallpaper designed by Yang and American artist and book designer Conny Purtill, will go on view later this year in the AGO’s South Entrance.


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Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario


Haegue Yang lives and works in Berlin, Germany and Seoul, South Korea. She is a Professor at the Staedelschule in Frankfurt am Main. For the opening of the expanded building of The Museum of Modern Art, New York on October 21, 2019, MoMA commissioned Yang to create an installation for the Marron Atrium. Handles has been highly praised for its performative power to render and weave seemingly irrelevant historical narratives into a singular immersive, mesmerizing and performative field.

Yang has participated in major international exhibitions including the 16th Istanbul Biennial (2019), the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018), La Biennale de Montréal (2016), the 12th Sharjah Biennial (2015), the 9th Taipei Biennial (2014), dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel (2012) and the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009) as the South Korean representative as well as in the International Art Exhibition at the Arsenale.

Yang’s work is included in permanent collections such as the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; M+, Hong Kong, China; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, South Korea; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA; Tate Modern, London, UK; Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA.

Her work has been the subject of numerous monographs, including Haegue Yang: Anthology 2006–2018. Tightrope Walking and Its Wordless Shadow (2019); Haegue Yang: ETA 1994–2018 (2018); Haegue Yang: VIP’s Union (2017); and Haegue Yang: Family of Equivocations (2013).


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 artwork 2
Haegue Yang

Haegue Yang, Non-Indépliable, azuré, 2006/2009. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Nick Ash.

Haegue Yang artwork 1

Haegue Yang Emergence events


Haegue Yang: Emergence — Weekly Activations
Saturday, October 3, 2020 — Saturday, January 10, 2021 at 2pm

Through the run of the exhibition, Haegue Yang’s Sol LeWitt Vehicles and Boxing Ballet will be activated on Saturdays, with four 20-minute performances starting at 2 pm.

. . . 

AGO Live: Malady of Death
Friday, November 27, 8 pm

For the last ten years, internationally renowned Korean-born, Germany-based artist Haegue Yang has been re-staging a work by the French, by way of Vietnam, poststructuralist icon Marguerite Duras, Malady of Death. The two artists, despite their unique experiences and expressions, cross p

Artist’s Talk: Haegue Yang
Wednesday, December 2, 1 pm

Join us for a conversation with artist Haegue Yang on the occasion of Haegue Yang: Emergence, her landmark exhibition of sculptures, installations and performances from the past 25 years of her career.

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