Modern artists deconstruct master works

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Modern artists deconstruct master works


“The Forest of Art” by Yoo Sun-tai is part of his solo exhibition at the Gana Art Center.

In two ongoing exhibitions, two local contemporary artists - Inkie Whang and Yoo Sun-tai - reinterpret and recreate paintings by renowned old masters and modern artists in unique ways reminiscent of their signature styles.

Though the signature styles of the two artists are very different from each other, they share a common point. Both artists are interested in deconstructing the dichotomies between East and West and between tradition and modernity, and both mix these things in their work.

Whang’s show, “Inkie Whang: Today That Will Be Yesterday by Tomorrow,” runs through May 29 at Arko Art Center in Daehangno, central Seoul.

He converts images of works by Eastern and Western masters into digital pixels by scanning them. Then he rebuilds the images by arranging thousands of rivets and acrylic pieces such as Lego blocks and silicon pieces - with each element representing a single pixel.

“His method requires a vast amount of time and effort but the resulting works offer a refreshing poetic sensibility,” Arko said in a statement.

Of his “Pla Cezanne” series, the state-run gallery said, “With the unique texture of Lego blocks, the series deconstructs the illusion of Western Impressionism.”


“Pla Cezanne 007” by Inkie Whang is part of his Arko Art Center show. Provided by the galleries

The primary medium of Yoo Sun-tai, who is holding a solo show at Gana Art Center, one of the nation’s biggest private galleries, is acrylic.

One of Yoo’s paintings shows partial and full images of a number of paintings by famous artists such as Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, as several tiny human figures bicycle around the paintings in silhouette.

Another piece similar to this one shows paintings by Eastern masters such as Korean Joseon-dynasty painter Sim Sa-jeong.

In some of Yoo’s works, Eastern and Western masterpieces coexist with objects such as apples and vessels as well as with the tiny human figures on bicycles.

“His paintings even seem to be a reservoir of images of all objects from East and West,” said Yoon Jin-sup, an art critic and professor at Honam University. “Spatially, his paintings are a mixture of the two sensibilities. Time-wise, they are a mixture of past and present.

“Yoo calls this mixture a forest that he wants to flow through.”

In this context, the tiny figures on bicycles represent the artist himself.

“Yoo’s relationship to bicycle riding goes back to his school days when bicycles were the only means of transportation,” Yoon explained. “As such, the bicycle is a metaphor for movement. Riding a bicycle, or moving, is one of the characteristics of being human. Other animals also move, but humans are different in that they move not just for biological survival but out of cultural or intellectual desire.”

*Inkie Whang’s solo show at Arko Art Center continues through May 29. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Go to Hyehwa Station, line No. 4, exit 2. For details, visit

Yoo Sun-tai’s solo show at Gana Art Center also runs until May 29. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Go to Gyeongbokgung Station, line No. 3, exit 3, and take bus No. 1711 to the Lotte Apartment stop. For details, call (02) 720-1020 or visit

By Moon So-young []

한글 관련 기사 [CBS노컷]

‘그림속 자전거 타고, 정신의 유목을!’

유선태, <말과 글-자전거 타는 사람:그림으로 그림을 그리다> 전,가나아트센터

유선태 화가의 작품에는 수많은 오브제가 등장하지만 산만하지 않고 산뜻하다. `예술의 숲`에서는 수명의 작가 작품들이 나오고,어떤 작품에서는 큰 화면에 오브제가 곳곳에 배치된다. 르네상스 시대 무명화가들의 꽃 작품들을 한데 모아 그린 작품 `말과 글-봄이 오는 소리`는 많은 꽃송이들이 서로 맞대고 있다. 유작가의 화폭에 들어오면 이 오브제들은 질서정연한 구도 속에 배치된다. 이에 대해 유작가는 "내게 있는 동양적 유전자 때문일 것이다. 단촐한 느낌이랄까, 부족하지 않고 그것만으로도 충분한 느낌 같은 것.청전 이상범 선생의 선비적 느낌, 욕심이 없으셨던 아버님, 그리고 나무가 주는 느낌, 이런 것들이 내게 영향을 미쳤다"고 한다.

유작가의 작품에는 자전거를 탄 인간들이 반드시 등장한다. 마치 걸리버 여행기에서 거인국에 들어간 사람처럼 왜소하게 그려진다. 자전거맨의 등장은 그 그림의 이야기 속에 작가가 반드시 개입되어 있음을 알린다. 작가가 표현한 그 그림의 세계는 자신이 가고픈 세계의 반영이다. 유작가는 "그림속 자전거 유람은 내 보았던 것들의 기록이자,나의 기억과 현실, 동경의 세계를 담고 있다"고 했다. 그렇다면 인간을 왜 이리 왜소하게 그렸는가? 유작가는 "나이가 먹을 수록 인간이 작은 존재임을 느끼게 되더라"고 했다.

문의:02-720-1020(평창동 가나아트센터)
출품작품:회화 50여 점,조각 10여 점

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