Haegue Yang: Triple Vita Nestings

IMA, Brisbane & Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth | 2018/19

30 June–30 August 2018 (IMA), 1 December 2018–18 March 2019 (GBAG)


Haegue Yang

Exhibition Notes:

Triple Vita Nestings at the IMA was presented in partnership with the 21st Biennale of Sydney, and is made possible with generous support from the Australia Council for the Arts, the Korea Foundation, and assistance from Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen.

Triple Vita Nestings at IMA was curated by Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh, and Burns and Lundh with Sarah Wall at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.

  • Installation view, Haegue Yang, 'Triple Vita Nestings', Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane. In view (l-r): 'Lethal Love', 2008/2018, Aluminum venetian blinds, powder-coated aluminum hanging structure, steel wire rope, free-standing mirror wall, moving spotlights, scent emitters (wildflower, gunpowder), Dimensions variable; 'The Intermediate—Tinted UHHHHH Creature Inverted V', 2017, Powder-coated stainless steel frame, steel wire rope, plastic twine, 360 x 400 x 180 cm, Courtesy the artist. Photography: Carl Warner.

  • Installation view, Haegue Yang, 'Triple Vita Nestings', Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane. In view: 'Multiple Mourning Room', 2012, Digital colour print (in collaboration with Manuel Raeder), Dimensions variable, Courtesy Manuel Raeder, Haegue Yang and Greene Naftali, New York; 'The Intermediate—Head Carrying Woman', 2017, Artificial straw, powder-coated steel stand, casters, plastic twine, artificial plants, 234 x 108 x 110 cm, Courtesy the artist. Photography: Carl Warner.

Haegue Yang: Triple Vita Nestings at the IMA marks the artist’s first institutional solo show in Australia. Bringing together selected works from more than a decade of Yang’s practice, these pieces straddle seemingly opposing artistic legacies and aesthetics, between conceptual art strategies and materially-driven craft techniques, industrial production and the handmade, and importantly for this exhibition, between figuration and abstraction. Yang’s work undoes these supposed binaries and creates immersive and imaginative experiences.

Triple Vita Nestings uses formal strategies—such as layering, doubling, splitting, and merging— to reveal how individual subjects are embedded in the lives, stories, and contexts of others. Multi-sensory environments, figurative forms, and voiceover narration evoke the biographies of real figures, as well as mythical or allegorical creatures, and self-reflexive ideas of alienation and neighbourliness. Though these stories and ideas may be distinct, they are not presented in isolation: each character nests inside another, representing our interwoven or parallel realities. Yang has drawn from biographies of historical figures, manifesting preexisting encounters among them or alternately drawing idiosyncratic parallels between seemingly unrelated figures. Yang’s point of view on history, literature, and personal experience empowers us to perceive nested sets, or relations, between otherwise disparate lives.


Yang was born in 1971 in Seoul, South Korea. Currently, she lives and works in Berlin and Seoul. Her works are known for their eloquent and seductive sculptural language of visual abstraction out of her research on historical figures and events. Yang has exhibited in major international exhibitions including the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018), La Biennale de Montréal (2016), the 12th Sharjah Biennial (2015), the 9th Taipei Biennal (2014), dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel (2012) and the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009) as the South Korean representative. Her recent solo exhibitions were held at Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2018); Kunsthaus Graz (2017), KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2017), Hamburger Kunsthalle (2016), Serralves Museum, Porto (2016), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016), Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2015), Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul (2015), Museum of Contemporary Art, Strasbourg (2013), Bergen Kunsthall (2013), Haus der Kunst, Munich (2012), The Tanks at Tate Modern, London (2012), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2011), Modern Art Oxford, (2011), Aspen Art Museum, (2011), New Museum, New York (2010), and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2009).