2014.7.2 MUSEUMS & GALLERIESLEE JAE SAM: DALBIT-MOONSHINE
To today: Artist Lee Jae Sam’s paintings, which are more than 4,000 feet in size, can be overwhelming at first. However, it does not take long to realize that this vastness is an invitation to experience nature. “Viewers feel like they are standing in front of a great area of nature rather than an artistic work,” explained art critic Daishik Yim.
The moon, which in the past was used for calculating farming cycles and praying to heaven, has long been a refuge for Koreans.
Lee uses moonlight to reveal Korean sentiment by using soft yet powerful charcoal, his signature tool. Lee’s harmonizing of nature and humans is hinted at in his use of moonlight and darkness. The two supposedly opposing characteristics are brought into unity in 16 of his featured works.
Admission is free. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is closed on Mondays. Go to Gyeongbokgung Station, line No. 3, exit No. 3.
(02) 725-1020, www.artside.org
YAN HENG: HIGHWAY INN
To July 13th: “Highway Inn” is 32-year-old Chinese artist Yan Heng’s first solo exhibit in Korea. The young artist’s show is named after a camping area drivers use as a resting facility, but Heng changes its original meaning to represent a place to pause before further exploring an artistic journey.
Through 15 paintings, Heng shares his experiences with the flaws and ironies of ever-changing Chinese society in a traditional painting style. The artist doesn’t aim to come up with a direct metaphor that can be defined but instead leaves room for the endless possibilities of today’s world.
Keep an eye out for his repeated symbols such as crocodiles, which reflect the disjointed lives of struggling modern men.
Admission is free. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and closed on Mondays. Go to Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit No. 2, and walk 10 minutes.
(02) 541-5701, www.arariogallery.com
ADMIRATION FOR WHITE
Seoul Museum, Jongno District
To Aug. 31: “Admiration for White Porcelain” is an exhibition of contemporary artworks inspired by the moon jars and white porcelain pottery that originated in the Joseon Dynasty.
The show, featuring 56 works by 27 local artists, is divided into three sections. Section one is for modern-era painters, including the important abstract painters Kim Whanki (1913-74) and Chung Chang-sup (1927-2011).
Section two is for contemporary artists such as photographer Koo Bohnchang and painter-installation artist Kang Ik-joong. Section three is for contemporary ceramists.
Admission is 9,000 won for adults. The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. Take bus Nos. 1020, 1711, 7016, 7018, 7022 or 7212 to the Jahamun Tunnel stop.
(02) 395-0100, www.seoulmuseum.org
MASTERPIECES FROM THE
To Aug. 31: Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works are the focus of this exhibition, which show the transformation of the Western social environment, thoughts and aesthetics in the late 19th century as well as the impact they made on modern art.
More than 175 paintings, drawings and other works of craft are on loan from the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, including paintings by Claude Monet and Henri Rousseau.
Tickets for adults are 12,000 won.
The exhibit opens from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays; and to 7 p.m. on Sundays and national holidays. It closes on Mondays.
(02) 2077-9000, www.museum.go.kr
Two Kinds of Nature
To Sept. 28: This exhibition, based on the collection of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), is about Korean artists’ correspondence with and interpretations of nature.
The exhibition is divided into three parts - Gallery 1, Gallery 2 and the space linking both. Gallery 1 focuses on the works in which Korean modern artists, mainly abstract painters and sculptors, try to visualize the essence and spirituality of nature.
The area that connects Gallery 1 and 2 could be the highlight of this exhibition, as it makes good uses of the space of an extraordinary high wall.
Black-and-white photography is featured in this in-between area, most of which is representational but, at the same time, has abstract qualities and a spiritual ambience.
Viewers are then led to Gallery 2, where they can see contemporary artists’ paintings of colorful urban landscapes.
Admission is 4,000 won ($3.78).
The cost also covers all the other exhibitions at MMCA Seoul.
(02) 3701-9500, www.mmca.go.kr
TROIKA: PERSISTENT ILLUSIONS
Daelim Museum, Jongno District
To Oct. 12: Conny Freyer, Eva Rucki and Sebastien Noel, a London-based trio of artists who call themselves Troika, are exhibiting “Persistent Illusions” in Seoul. Using both digital and analogue media, the artists raise questions about the environment around us.
Among the exhibits is an installation that depicts the previous day’s weather. This piece makes fun of people’s obsession with getting up-to-date information all day, every day.
Admission is 5,000 won for adults. The exhibition’s opening hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.
Go to Gyeongbokgung Station, line No. 3, exit No. 3.
(02) 720-0667, www.daelimmuseum.org
By Moon So-young, Jang Seo-young