Gallery brings Bhak best artists

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Gallery brings Bhak best artists

Galerie Bhak for the past few years has had made a name for itself with its well-received artists and shows.

Its latest exhibition, "To the Future, To the World, Part 1," features 27 works by nine Korean artists who have challenged the international art scene with expressions of their progressive, individualistic style. The exhibition includes paintings and photography, all with a distinct Korean sentiment. The show runs until Jan. 4.

In the 2000 Chicago Art Fair, Ham Sup's golden brown paper works, reminiscent of Korean soil and skin color, sold out.

At the Chicago Art Fair this year, the works by Jeong Hyun-sook also attracted attention. Her idea of capturing the circular shape from a single water drop on a minimal space may seem simple at first, but the artist's attempt to depict Asian sentiment through what was viewed as static movement also was appreciated by critics.

"By adapting a particular painting method, tashime [dappled painting], she could magnificently create her own artistic symbols ... based on [an] autonomic picture surface," wrote Koh Choong-hwan, one of the leading art critics in Korea.

Lee Ji-hyun, who had won the Galerie Bhak Contest for the Young and Remarkable Artist, has participated in Art Cologne in Germany since 2000.

Kim Tschang-yeul and Ahn Byeong-seok joined a group exhibition in Galerie Covalenco in Geldrop, the Netherlands.

Lee Jung-yeon's colorful imagination is expressed not only by Oriental lacquer but also charcoal on Korean linen. Choi Eun-soo hyperrealistically depicts objects like still-life photographs. Cho Sung-yeon prints photography on rice paper to make it look like a painting.

For more than a decade, Galerie Bhak has discovered and promoted young Korean talent on the international art scene. As a result, artists such as Kim Tschang-yeul, Ham Sup, Ahn Byeong-seok, Lee Young-hak, Choi Eun-soo and Lee Jeong-yeon have gained recognition overseas, important since some of their works are already too pricey for the domestic market.

"The main characteristic in art is to have Asian or Korean sentiment," says Jung Hoon, the curator of the gallery. "The artist, Ham Sup, for example, uses rice paper; Lee Jung-yeon employs lacquer on Korean linen. Kim Tschang-yeul's works are basically oil painting, but he incorporates water drops and Chinese characters, which become meaningful in Asia."

The second part of the exhibition will run from Jan. 7 to 30, featuring the works of nine additional Korean artists, including Paik Nam June, Kim Chang-young, Toh Yun-hee and Kim Chan-il.

Galerie Bhak is in Cheongdam-dong in southern Seoul. For more information, call (02) 544-8481.

by Inēs Cho

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