As the golden sun sets over South Korea’s captivating capital, the city is poised for an infusion of art, culture, and Prada fashion. This special event, meticulously orchestrated by the globally renowned fashion house Prada, is ready to make its grand South Korean debut.
This illustrious journey began as a mere spark of innovation, a concept envisioned by Prada to bring together the arts, music, dining, and discerning socialites under a common, exclusive umbrella. Ten iterations later, the innovative social club concept known as Prada Mode has reached the vibrant heart of Seoul, promising an exquisite blend of cinematic installations, music, culinary delicacies, and much-needed conversations about art and culture.
Seoul will be hosting the 10th version of this high-profile event, entitled “Plural and Parallel“, on September 5th and 6th at KOTE, a well-known cultural venue. Notably, this event is timed to perfectly coincide with the second edition of Frieze Seoul, a key stop on the global art fair circuit.
Taking the helm as curator is Lee SookKyung, the seasoned director of the Whitworth art gallery at the University of Manchester. Lee is no stranger to the pressures and delights of curating major international art events. She has served on the frontline of global art destinations from Liverpool’s Tate to the 56th Venice Biennale’s Korean Pavilion, earning her recognition and respect within the industry.
For Prada Mode, Lee intends to spotlight South Korea’s impressive achievements in the world of cinema. Through carefully curated installations across KOTE’s numerous buildings, attendees will be privy to the artistic visions of three renowned South Korean directors: Kim Jee-Woon, Yeon Sang-ho, and Jeong Dahee.
These directors, known for internationally recognized films like “The Last Stand” and “Train to Busan“, will enrich the two-day event with profound discussions with Lee, delving into themes such as culinary culture, the concept of absence, and mortality. “What we see in films are both reflections of realities and promises of imagined worlds, a product and prompt of the collective imagination”, Lee commented about the profound influence of cinema on culture.
Lee further elaborated that these directors “create distinctive worlds in their films that are at once products of contemporary South Korea and inspirations for different possibilities“. Her aim with Prada Mode is to manifest their “uniquely diverse visions by providing three separate yet interconnected spaces, each representing the individual director’s version of actual and imagined reality“.
Prior to its touchdown in Seoul, Prada Mode journeyed to Tokyo, where it was hosted by award-winning architect and long-time Prada collaborator Kazuyo Sejima. Last year, it graced the glimmering skyline of Dubai with a nod to Damien Hirst’s “Pharmacy” installation.
Launched in 2018 during Art Basel Miami Beach, Prada Mode was an evolution of the Prada Double Club by artist Carsten Höller. Over the years, it has touched down at Art Basel Hong Kong, Frieze London, and brought a distinctive charm to Paris and Shanghai.
Amid the uncertainties of the pandemic, December 2021 saw the execution of Prada Mode’s COVID-19-impacted Moscow edition. The adventure continued into 2022 when, in February, the artistic symposium moved to Los Angeles. There, in alignment with the Frieze art fair, the spotlight was on a collaborative exploration with artist Marine Syms.