Spring flowers that bloom in the clouds

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Spring flowers that bloom in the clouds


Chun Kyung-ja’s “Woman.”

Winter threw a tantrum this week, smothering the promise of spring in a cold, damp blanket. It brings to mind the Korean saying kkot saem chu wee, that winter is jealous of the spring flowers.

The milder weather last Saturday saw many in Korea dispense with their warm jackets and dig out lighter clothes from the back of their wardrobe. But the sudden cold snap earlier this week sent us scurrying home and convinced the spring blossom to keep its fledgling petals hidden from the sharp wind.

We’ll probably have to wait at least two weeks to see the trees flower, but if you can’t wait that long, one of the world’s highest art galleries - at over 250 meters (820 feet) - is tempting visitors with its “In the Flower Garden” exhibition.

“Flowers have been around with us for a long time. When we confess our love, when we congratulate someone, or when the season changes, flowers are there for people to share joy and happiness,” the 63 Sky Art Gallery said in a release.


Lee Soo-dong’s “Love.” Provided by the 63 Sky Art Museum

The display features about 50 art pieces by 40 local and international artists including Chun Kyung-ja, Andy Warhol and Marc Chagall.

The theme is, of course, flowers.

The first part of the exhibition is “Beauty Garden,” which is decorated with flamboyant floral drawings.

“People get the impression they’re actually walking through a genuine flower garden,” said Woo Ji-kyung, an official at the art gallery. There are works by Korean modern artists including Chun, who is known as an artist with a keen interest in flowers, Lee Dae-won and Lee Wal-chong plus Warhol and Chagall.

The second part of the exhibit is “Fantastic Garden,” which has dreamy and surreal renditions of flower drawings alongside Lee Soo-dong’s “Love.”

The third and fourth parts are “Re-creation Garden” and “Play Garden.” In the Re-creation Garden, Korean artists reinvent the spirit of older folk paintings by sprucing up depictions of magnolias and lotus flowers, which painters of old regularly included in their work.

In the Play Garden there are interactive elements that let people know more about the paintings.

“In the Flower Garden” runs through November 15 in the 63 Sky Art Museum in the 63 Building, Yeouido, Seoul.

The gallery is near Yeouido subway station, line No. 5, exit 5. A free shuttle bus is available.

For more information, call (02) 789-5663 or visit www.63.co.kr.

By Sung So-young [so@joongang.co.kr]
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