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Hakgojae Gallery first opened its doors in Seoul, a financial hub of Asia, in 1988. Since then, Hakgojae Gallery has been leading a rapidly growing Korean art market, as well as charting directions on how Korean art ought to be harmonized and developed within the contemporary global culture.



The gallery's name derives from the saying, "to review the old to learn the new" in the Analects of Confucius. However, gaining knowledge of the past is not necessarily equivalent to studying of historical facts. In fact, the process of learning the past in Korea, where tragic history of being victimized by the Japanese colonialism and the division of the country is very much alive, accompanies excruciating self-reflection. Nonetheless, to be able to confidently reach out to readily participate in the global cultural flow despite its past struggles is the true philosophy behind the saying, "to review the old to learn the new." This is the very ideology and orientation that makes Hakgojae Gallery unique, bringing together the old and the new, and connecting the region to the world.

Hakgojae Gallery has been continuously presenting more than 200 exhibitions, focusing on bridging between the past and the new. Hakgojae Gallery has not neglected its efforts to see through what the ‘new’ of the present is going to last and become the ‘old’ in the time to come. Such efforts, which consists the identity of Hakgojae Gallery, are also the important role as a responsible cultural institution of Korean and global art market. Hakgojae Gallery laid the foundation of this vision and role through presenting historical art exhibitions such as Paintings in the Late of Korean Empire (1988), Calligraphy in the Middle of Joseon Dynasty (1990), Landscape of Meeting and Parting (2000).

Hakgojae Gallery also has been steadily showing works of precursors, who have reinterpreted traditional Korean philosophy and spirit through the language of contemporary art. The gallery's typical exhibitions include solo exhibitions of: Nam June Paik, the founder of video art (Shanghai 2014; Seoul 2015), Lee Ufan, an advocate for Mono-ha (Seoul 2008), Chung Sang-hwa, a foremost artist of Dansaekhwa (Seoul 2007), Yun Suknam, the godmother of the Korean feminism art (Seoul 1997; 2009; 2013; 2018; 2021), Ma Liuming, the most compelling performance artist of our time (Sanghai and Seoul 2014; Seoul 2018), and Jia Youfu (Seoul 2006), and Tian Liming (Seoul 2014), leading artists of modern-day Chinese ink painting. These exhibitions unveiled the artistic depth of masterpieces at their highest, and cemented the gallery's status as a leading exhibitor of historical and modern art in both Korea and China.

Hakgojae Gallery's diligent patronage of Korean Minjung art (Korean social realism art) played a large part in attaining significant prestige in Korea. The rise of the Korean economy in the 70's and 80's fueled a call for democratization of the country. Minjung art sprang from the cultural uprising against the government, which was under a strict military dictatorship at the time. Subsequently, Hakgojae Gallery was the first of its kind to exhibit works of prominent Minjung artists such as Oh Yoon, Shin Hak-Chul, Kang Yo-bae and Lee Jong-Gu. Looking back from the 21st century, history sheds new light on the Minjung art movement and regards it as part of its legacy and a meaningful accomplishment. Despite many setbacks, Hakgojae Gallery's insightful decision to support art that best represented 'Spirit of the Age' certainly made the gallery stand out from its peers.

Many times the gallery has shown a great discernment in its involvement with pioneers at the forefront of contemporary art, through sharp observation of the changes of the times and trends. The artists include: Kim Sundoo, Kim Ho-deuk, Noh Suntag, Jin Meyerson, Song Hyun-sook, Lee Yongbaek, Chung Hyun, Kim Hyunsik, Heo Suyoung, and Lee Woosung. Some of them are invited world-class biennales include Venice Biennale and Gwangju to receive favorable reviews, while others are participated or scheduled for exhibitions at leading art museums in Asia and Europe. As part of implementing teachings of "to review the old to learn the new," Hakgojae Gallery introduced an array of dynamic works by internationally acclaimed artists in Korean and Chinese market. This effort includes exhibitions such as: Minimalism as Landscape (1997), compromised of works by important American minimalists Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Robert Mangold, Richard Tuttle, Agnes Martin, and Robert Ryman; the twentieth opening anniversary exhibition, titled Sensitive System (2008), curated by Lóránd Hegyi, the director of Musée D'art Moderne de Saint-Etienne Métropole France, featuring works of Lee Ufan, Roman Opalka, Giuseppe Penone, and Günther Uecker; and Unconstraint Creation (2014), curated by Yun Chea Gap, the director of Hao Art Museum Shanghai, featuring works of Chung Sang-hwa, Ha Chong Hyun and Lee Ufan. Other notable exhibitions of leading international artists at Hakgojae Gallery include Le Corbusier, Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Bernard Frize, Zhang Huan. Hakgojae Gallery had presented works by German artist Tim Eitel twice, both in his solo exhibitions in 2011 and 2017, and recently presented works by notable international artists such as, British artist Fiona Rae, Swedish artist Andreas Eriksson, German artist, Thomas Scheibitz in their solo exhibitions.

To provide a platform to promote Korean artists worldwide and attract accomplished international artists to local exhibitions, Hakgojae Gallery has been actively participating in numerous international art fairs. To name a few, Hakgoaje Gallery has been participating Art Basel Hong Kong since 2008 (Hong Kong Art Fair at the time) until now in 2020, Art Brussels in Belgium, Taipei Dangdai in Taiwan, ARCO in Spain, ART Chicago in the U.S., Drawing Now Paris in France, Art Beijing in China, and London Art Fair in the U.K.

Hakgojae Gallery has been transformed into an interchange station where the past and present intersects, East and West communicates, and regions of the world interconnect. The gallery's distinctive identity of 'bringing two worlds together' is also embedded in its architecture. Housed within the traditional Korean Hanok, the main building renovated back in 1995 represents the past whereas a new annex, constructed back in 2008 to celebrate the gallery's twentieth anniversary, boast every characteristic of the 21st century. Meditating lessons from the past at its age-old edifice, and facing pursuit of the present at its cutting-edge complex, the gallery Hakgojae Gallery enables us to mentally and physically envision how our tomorrows are to be forged. Hakgojae Gallery has a firm belief in the incomprehensible side of art. Unleashing creativity has always gone beyond the boundaries of reason and common-sense at the time. Hakgojae Gallery is always looking for artists who are able to contribute insight and astonishment by virtue of the incomprehensible law. And we desire, more than anything in this world, to be able to contribute insight, and the pleasure of evolution based on artistic creativity by sharing moments of joy and sorrow with artists who will shape the future.

Hakgojae Gallery
  • Address
    50 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea 03053
  • E-mail
    info@hakgojae.com
  • TEL
    +82 2 720 1524-6
  • FAX
    +82 2 720 1527
  • OPENING HOURS
    Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-18:00
    Closed on Monday
Hakgojae Online | OROOM
  • Address
    online.hakgojae.com
  • E-mail
    info@hakgojae.com
  • TEL
    +82 2 720 1524-6
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