11 Korean artists focus on meditative view of nature

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11 Korean artists focus on meditative view of nature

Nature has always been woven into human life and culture in ways that have puzzled, ruined and rescued us. For some writers, such as Ernest Hemmingway and Thomas Hardy, nature is a force stronger than man, capable of destruction on massive scales but at the same time, essential to humanity’s survival. For others, nature symbolizes an ideal, a pure life force that is in contrast with industry and urbanization.
An exhibition titled “Meditative Forest” at Seoul Museum of Art’s Namseoul Annex from July 29 to August 27 features 41 works by 11 artists who focus on the meditative, serene aspect of nature amidst the chaos of contemporary society.
The Korean contemporary artists include seven painters, one photographer, one sculptor and two installation artists.
Kim Bo-hee’s painting on Korean traditional paper titled “In Between” shows a view of the ocean that is calm, without one ripple of a wave, making the striking blue seem like an abstract painting, with the horizon separating tones of blue.
The idealized notion of nature can also be seen in Song Myeong-jin’s “999 Ridges,” in which a bird flies over ridges on the ground that are perfect halves of a circle. The shape of the ridges looks digitally mastered. With the bird providing the notion of speed and the ridges giving a simplified, post-modern aspect to the painting, it looks like a scene from a dream.
Min Byeong-hun’s photograph “SL005 BHM, Snow Land Series” shows a field of snow, with trees blurred in the background, hinting at the enormity of nature juxtaposed with its meditative side.
Lee Myeong-jin’s installation piece, “Hide and Seek,” features six canvas drawings put together in a montage-like way, adding an illusion of depth and a strong sense of location to pictures of a child standing in the middle of a snow-covered forest. The work gives a sense of the isolation one feels as a child, as well as the silent force of nature that almost overwhelms the child standing in it.

by Cho Jae-eun
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