Symbols of beauty, seen but never revealed

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Symbols of beauty, seen but never revealed


“Paradox of Beauty #09-05” (2009) by Jeong Myoung-jo. Provided by Gana Art Center

In each work in Jeong Myoung-jo’s “Paradox of Beauty” series, a woman in a splendid hanbok, or traditional Korean clothing, stands with her back to the viewer.

The woman’s face is never revealed, causing the viewer to focus on other details - the silk dress, traditional wig and glittering hair ornaments that are depicted in a hyperrealistic way.

“My paintings are not portraits. The women in these paintings are symbols of beauty,” the artist said in a note presented by Gana Art Center.

The gallery in Pyeongchang-dong, northern Seoul, is holding an exhibition of the 20 works in Jeong’s series.

Art critic Lee Joo-eun wrote that the paintings do not merely present the beauty of the hanbok’s colors and patterns. Viewers will “find the agelong remorseful lament of traditional Korean women or discover the destiny of the Korean people of having to carry the past wherever they go,” Lee wrote.

*The exhibition runs until July 4. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Go to Gyeongbokgung Station, line No. 3, exit 3, and take bus #1711 to the Lotte Apartment stop. For more, call (02) 720-1020 or visit

By Moon So-young []
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