Beginning in 2009 as an art consultancy, BB&M has been instrumental in the ascendance of some of the most acclaimed contemporary Korean artists now on the international stage, including Lee Bul, Minouk Lim, Park Chan-kyong, and Bae Young-whan. BB&M’s current iteration as an independent gallery is a joint effort between James B. Lee, Founding Principal, and Si Young Hur, Principal, who brings decades of experience in the commercial sector as Director at Gallery Hyundai and PKM Gallery and as Partner at Gallery Baton. In her previous posts, Ms. Hur was responsible for organizing and overseeing exhibitions of such artists as Liam Gillick, Olafur Eliasson, Thomas Struth, Robert Rauschenberg, and Yun Hyong-keun, a key figure in Dansaekhwa.
BB&M inaugurated its gallery space in October 2021 with a solo exhibition of Lee Bul, widely recognized as the leading Korean artist of her generation. Encompassing over 2,500 square feet (233 square meters) of exhibition space over two levels, including a double-height space with a 17.5-feet (5.4 meters) ceiling, BB&M is located in the culturally storied district of Seongbuk-dong, in the vicinity of Gansong Art Museum, established in 1938 as the first private art museum in Korea.
In addition to Lee Bul, the gallery’s roster includes such prominent, critically important Korean figures as Minouk Lim, Bae Young-whan, and Heecheon Kim, working across a range of genres and shaping contemporary Korean art in an international context. The gallery also represents younger international artists rising in recognition and spanning different visual cultures, among them Alex Dodge and Miko Veldkamp.
From the outset BB&M has also sought to introduce curatorial perspectives from outside the commercial sector to ensure its program is intellectually expansive, inviting, for instance, the former New Museum curator Dan Cameron to organize an exhibition. These efforts reflect the gallery’s long-term mission of building an exhibition program that engages both critically and aesthetically with contemporary visual ideas.
ABOUT THE PRINCIPALS
James B. Lee, Founding Principal, brings decades of varied experience in the art world, as a writer for such international magazines as ARTnews (New York), Flash Art International (Milan), and Art AsiaPacific (Hong Kong); in institutions, as the Head of Exhibitions at Art Sonje Center, Seoul, and the Director of Exhibitions at the Gwangju Biennale Foundation; and in the commercial sector as Partner at PKM Gallery, Seoul. Mr. Lee was trained in finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, before earning a master’s in writing from Columbia University, New York.
Si Young Hur, Principal, earned a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Hong Ik University, Seoul, where she studied with major figures in the Dansaekhwa movement, notably Park Seo-bo. Ms. Hur went on to study art management at ICART, Paris, and embarked on a career in the commercial art world, first working at a Paris gallery that exhibited Lee Ufan. Upon returning to Seoul, she served as Director at Gallery Hyundai and PKM Gallery and subsequently as Partner at Gallery Baton.