2012.11.20 MUSEUMS&GALLERIESDUNG-SEOB, GO TO RENAISSANCE
Seoul Museum, Jongno District
To tomorrow: This is the inaugural exhibition of the Seoul Museum, which opened in late August. It features works by Lee Jung-seob (1916-56), one of Korea’s most important modern painters, and five other artists who held a joint exhibition with Lee at Busan’s Renaissance Cafe in 1952. “Dung-seob” is a pronunciation of Jung-seob in the dialect of the North Korean region where the artist was born.
The exhibits include the famous “Bull” (circa 1953), an oil painting by Lee. The founder of the museum, Ahn Byung-gwang, bought the work in a 2010 sale arranged by Seoul Auction at the second highest price in Korean auction history.
Admission is 9,000 won ($8.28) and covers admission to Seokpajeong, a 19th-century hanok, or traditional Korean house, on the museum’s back slope, which once was the summer house of King Gojong’s father. The museum is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Take Bus No. 1020, 1711, 7016, 7018, 7022 or 7212 to the Jahamun Tunnel stop.
(02) 395-0100, www.seoulmuseum.org
Park Ryu Sook Gallery,
To Thursday: This is the solo show of Kang Kang-hoon, a 33-year-old artist who has persisted in painting human faces in hyperrealistic ways.
In his paintings, the faces of the artist himself, his friends and celebrities are meticulously depicted up to their pores and hairs, while the expressions of the faces are exaggerated and humorous. So the paintings cause viewers to rethink contemporary faces - our faces. Admission is free. The exhibition is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Go to Cheongdam Station, line No. 7, exit 9, and walk 10 minutes.
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art,
To Jan. 27: This is the first solo show in East Asia of Anish Kapoor, one of the world’s hottest contemporary sculptors. The 58-year-old India-born British artist’s show consists of 18 works, including his early “Pigment” series and latest stainless-steel sculptures as well as his “Void” series of the 1990s, which Leeum says show the “essence” of the artist’s philosophy.
One of the “Void” series on display, “Untitled”(1990), consists of three hemispheres covered with dark blue pigment. The concave sections of the hemispheres are dark, surprisingly without any tinge of light, so viewers experience the wonder and fear of unfathomable depth. Like this, the voids in Kapoor’s artwork are spaces of “nonexistence” but, simultaneously, spaces of “existence” as there exist nonphysical, nonmaterial things like darkness, infinity and human feelings, the artist said.
And the biggest one among the “Void” series on display at Leeum, the 1999 work “Yellow,” leads viewers to feel like they have sucked into a whole new space full of light.
Kapoor’s stainless steel sculptures since 2000, which include “Vertigo V & VII” and “Tall Tree and the Eye” are on display now at Leeum’s garden.
Admission is 8,000 won. A day pass including admission to the permanent exhibitions is 14,000 won. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. A docent leads tours in English at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Go to Hangangjin Station, line No. 6, exit 1 and walk five minutes.
(02) 2014-6900, www.leeum.org
Hangaram Design Museum
of Seoul Arts Center, Seocho District
To March 24: The show focuses on the Paris period of Vincent Van Gogh, one of the world’s most beloved painters.
The Dutch artist stayed in the French capital from March 1886 to February 1888. Most of the 60 oil paintings on display, including “Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat,” were done during this period. This exhibition shows how his style changed dramatically in Paris with the use of bright colors and bold strokes, and flat color without shadows. The change came from van Gogh’s encounter with Japanese woodblock prints called Ukiyo-e, as well as the French Impressionist paintings. “Pere Tanguy” shows the artist’s fascination with Ukiyo-e, as the portrait of the Parisian art dealer has several Japanese prints in the background.
The Seoul exhibition also contains nine self-portraits. “It is a rare case that so many of van Gogh’s self-portraits are exhibited in one place,” says Seo Soun-ju, director of the exhibition.
Admission is 15,000 won. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The closing time will be extended to 8 p.m. in March. The museum is closed on the last Monday of each month. Go to Nambu Bus Terminal Station, line No. 3, exit 5, and walk five minutes.
By Moon So-young