Soluna Fine Art is delighted to present “Morning Rise”, an exhibition dedicated to seven artists whose works symbolically indicate the rising of Korean contemporary art and culture. In their own way, each individual artists dedicated their works to the Korean traditions and histories and profoundly show their respect to the nation while showcasing their extraordinary craftsmanship and talent. In Korean cultural objects and symbols, one would often find The colors of Obangsaek (five cardinal directions: Blue – East; Red – South; Yellow – Center; White – West; Black – North), colors that not only represent the five directions but an element or a season. In this exhibition, Soluna Fine Art has selected works that show the five attractive colors, combined with interesting subject matters and visuals to celebrate the cultural values that are important to the gallery.
Exhibited artists include Chung Hae Cho, Lee Kang-hyo, Jeong Myoung Jo, Huh Sangwook, Lee Kyouhong, Chung Kyeongmee, and Kim Yongchul.
Chung Hae Cho uses hemp and lacquer as his primary medium, because those are the things that are so daring to him from his childhood. During his time in college, Chung noticed the lack of knowledge being taught about lacquer, and had decided to approach the traditional craftsman to learn more about the technique. The shapes in his works are influenced by river stone that are worn by the stream into smooth pebbles and the complex process that accumulated the pebbles.
Lee Kang-hyo is a Korean artist focusing on Onggi and Buncheong crafting. Lee’s work is derived from two Korean traditions of Onggi and Buncheong technique and he is renowned for being the first modern Korean potter to bring these two traditions together. Lee is internationally renowned and his work is found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Cité de la Céramique, Sèvres, France; Gyeonggi Ceramic Museum, Korea.
Jeong Myoung Jo was inspired to pursue art by the beauty of Korean traditional clothes. However, Jeong’s work does not merely present colors and patterns. Looking at a woman in a beautiful traditional dress who has her back to the audience, you find the age-long remorseful lament of traditional Korean women or discover the destiny of the Korean people of having to carry the past wherever they go. Such diverse interpretations of Jeong’s paintings are made possible because the artist not only paints clothes but the women who wear them. Although the women in the paintings do not show their faces, as
long as what you see in a painting is a person, you are bound to interpret the painting in the context of society and history, and from the perspective of self-identity.
Huh Sangwook is an artist who uses the traditional technique of Buncheong to create works with contemporary senses. The process of including surface design and applying the Buncheong technique is the most important aspect of his work. This method seeks out for traces of the past while progressing to create new interpretations. It is as though he is trying to remember every minute and day that has gone by, while living the new today to the full. Clay strips shaved and hanging from the tip of his knife, reminisce and reflect upon our lives. The rhythmical sounds made from Huh’s approaches are comparable to staccato touches in music.
Lee Kyouhong is the master of shape and one of the leading glass artists in Korea. Lee creates meditative representation of Korean rooted objects. Shapes of traditional objects are from his past and present, each artwork beholding his happy memories of childhood, providing healing sensation to the viewers. The natural trait of the material fascinates the artist, prompting him to explore various techniques and challenge new possibilities in glass making.
Chung Kyeongmee is a young Korean-born Parisian designer with a long history of working for a luxury fashion houses. Enriched by two distant cultures, Chung combines to perfection French taste and refinement to Korean crafts methods. Her works mainly consists of Korean precious silk and French merinos wool, deeply influenced by pure geometric lines and faces. Chung’s works are created in the heart of her Parisian studio, expressed with shimmering, vivid colors inspired by Korean traditional Obangsaek.
Kim Yongchul is a Korean painter who conveys the importance in preserving traditional values and cultural heritage. In 1970s (a period of national transformation from poverty to wealth) Kim worked on political projects to critique the depressing Korean society of the time using newspaper and television as media. From 1984 Kim returns to painting and employs Korean pictorial tradition capturing the scenery of vivid, fresh life which represents a departure from the previous political and gloomy perspective. He paints hearts to peonies, to flowers and birds, which are the symbols with distinct meanings in Korean traditional paintings. The use of acrylic, pastel, and glitter, heart motifs gives promising future and brighter prospect enlivened his attitude that work itself becomes a healing.
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