Sculptures with the gentle fluidity of watercolors

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Sculptures with the gentle fluidity of watercolors

Park Soo-yong's sculpted depiction of pensive women seated at the edge of a pond is like a Korean landscape painting, according to the art critic Choi Tae-man.

Mr. Park's work is also like literature: His sculpture of a tree and the moon above the pond -- made of polished marble and bronze -- tells the story of a peaceful night in the distant past.

The Park Soo-yong Exhibition, which opened yesterday, features more than 25 new works. All are simple forms and subjects, such as the pond, tree and moon. Mr. Park sculpts the humble, simple life that once was depicted in ancient watercolors and scrolls. Nature and human beings are united through familiar emotions.

Park Soo-yong was born in 1956 in Cheongsan, North Chungcheong province. He studied sculpture at HanNam and Kyung Hee universities in Korea and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Carrara, Italy. He has held numerous exhibitions in Korea and Italy.

The current show marks his eighth solo show in Seoul. Mr. Park won the 2d Chungjak Fine Arts Award in 1999 and first prize at the International Sculpture Symposium in Budduso, Italy in 1994.

Working in his atelier on Mount Gyeryong, South Chungcheong province, he expresses a longing for nature and his childhood. Because he was born in Cheongsan and reminisces about his home town (song in Korean), most of his sculptures are named "Cheongsansong."

"What makes his works interesting is that he employs antique-inspired Korean stones, such as jeolgu (mill stone) and dadimi (ironing stone) and also imported Italian marble," says Jung Hoon, the curator at Galerie Bhak in Seoul.

The various mediums that Mr. Park uses invite viewers to touch his works. Some surfaces are left coarse. Others are polished like glass. "When Mr. Park works with imported marble, which usually gives sensual or cold feelings, they are transformed to represent warm and nostalgic Korean sentiments," Mr. Jung says.

The Park Soo-yong Exhibition runs until Nov. 30 at Galerie Bhak in southern Seoul. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m daily. For more information, call (02) 544-8481.

by Inēs Cho

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