Haegue Yang: Triple Vita Nestings at the IMA marks the artist’s first institutional solo show in Australia after her participation in the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial (2015–2016) and the recent 21st Biennale of Sydney. 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.

Haegue 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).