Pyeongchang in northern Seoul is home to some of Korea’s oldest and most influential galleries. Among them is Gana Art, a modern complex designed by celebrated architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. Founded in 1983, Gana Art has presented over 400 exhibitions of Korean and international art over its lengthy history, including prominent artists such as Pierre Alechinsky, Roy Lichtenstein and Joan Miro.
97 Pyeongchang-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82 2 720 1020
Notable for its focus on contemporary Chinese art, Artside Gallery has been a leader in the artistic exchange between Korea and China, and has garnered international attention for hosting the first solo exhibition of artist Zhang Xiaogang in the country. In 2007, Artside opened a gallery space in Beijing, and in 2010 relocated its Seoul gallery to Hyoja-dong. Despite its expansion, the gallery’s vision remains the same – to present the best in Chinese and Asian avant-garde as a way to encourage understanding and creativity across Asian art.
33 Tongui-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82 2 725 1020
Soohohrom Busan Gallery is a small but noteworthy gallery that highlights various selections of contemporary art, running the gamut from big-name artists to rising young talent. Featured overseas artists include Michael Craig-Martin, Damien Hirst and Gaby Berglund Cardenas. The gallery has also exhibited the work of Jung Kang-ja, one of Korea’s first avant-garde artists to pioneer performance in art, organizing the first nude happening in Asia in 1968.
A-611 Zenith Square, 1407 U-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea, +82 51 744 8555
Situated in Hyoja-dong to the west of Gyeongbokgung Palace, is Gallery FACTORY, a small but punchy avant-garde space that has established itself as a steadfast presence in Seoul’s evolving art scene. The gallery encourages community participation through workshops and lectures, as well as by engaging in art consultation, public art projects, publications and international exchange programs. If you’re looking to discover the experimental work of up-and-coming artists based in Korea, Gallery FACTORY is certainly the place to do it.
Jahamunro 10 gil 15, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82 2 733 4883
Established in 2003, the small yet intimate Brain Factory is a non-profit exhibition space committed to promoting Korean contemporary art and artists. In addition, the gallery functions as an open studio for young artists to cultivate their creativity and confidence through a selection of classes and programs. Exhibits, which range from sculpture to photography, change consistently and guests are encouraged to browse the works on display at their own pace.
110-040 37, Hyoja-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82 2 725 9520
With its unmistakable yellow wooden exterior, Banana Long Gallery is one of the quirkiest and most charming galleries in all of Busan. Located in the famed art district of Haeuandae’s Dalmaji Hill – sometimes referred to as Montmartre of Busan – this atmospheric space has become a delightful landmark for locals and tourists alike since it opened its doors in 2008. Within its yellow walls, the gallery specializes in introducing and supporting emerging artists, and hosting diverse exhibitions.
1076-2, Jung-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea, +85 51 741 5106