Rachel Maclean, The Lion and The Unicorn, 2012 (film still)
Tuesday 12 September 2017 to Sunday 12 November 2017
Seoul Museum of Art

The first British contemporary art exhibition in 20 years held in public museum in Korea! 

Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA), in partnership with the British Council, is delighted to present The Art of Dissonance as part of UK/Korea 2017–18. This exhibition brings together 26 carefully selected artworks from the British Council Collection, which holds over 8,500 works. Featuring works by 16 contemporary artists, the exhibition delves deep into the “dissonance” of British society from the 1980s to today. Differences in social class, ethnicity, and economic and political positions are explored through the artists’ own visual languages and voices. 

Including Turner Prize-winning artists Jeremy Deller, Grayson Perry, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gillian Wearing as well as 2017 nominee Lubaina Himid, this exhibition explores pressing debates regarding identity and its representations. Preoccupations with social class and political dispute are examined through works by acclaimed artists John Akomfrah, Mona Hatoum, Rachel Maclean and Cally Spooner. What emerges from this assemblage of artwork is not a singular definition of British art today, but rather an exploration of how UK-based artists from diverse backgrounds and generations approach and engage with acute social issues that remain urgent for artists and publics alike. Further, the exhibition considers how artistic practice can create a ‘dissonant space’ where a multitude of voices may coexist.

With The Art of Dissonance, audiences are invited to explore the British art and society today from multiple perspectives where dissonant voices and disparate values conflict and evolve together. 

British Council Collection : The Art of Dissonance

British Council Collection

The British Council Collection began in 1938 with a modest group of works on paper and has grown to more than 8,500 artworks, including paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, film and multimedia, by over 1,250 artists. The collection promotes artists who have contributed to the development of British Art by purchasing their work at a significant stage in their careers and enabling it to reach a global audience. The British Council’s Visual Arts team helps these objects to travel around the world as part of our international exhibitions. We also loan works to museums and galleries in the UK and overseas, and we invite curators from around the world to engage with our collection, learn about how we manage it and select works to display in their home country. 

Seoul Museum of Art

The Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) is a leading art museum in Seoul, the capital of Korea and a central city of Asia. SeMA aims to be a future-oriented museum meeting the needs of the time. SeMA identifies itself to become a space of participation and communication by overcoming institutional and conventional limits of traditional art museum. While pushing the boundaries of the traditional museum with public-engaging transcultural projects, it also curates critically acclaimed exhibitions that trail blaze the Korean contemporary art scene. SeMA attempts to meet various demands from the art world through its regional hubs, the specialisation of each museum branch, and to fulfill diverse interests of the visitors. SeMA boasts a city-wide network of art spaces, each with distinct characteristics. Situated at the heart of Seoul, the Seosomun main building focuses on presenting international contemporary art.

Visual Arts UK/Korea 2017-18