New museum exhibit celebrates book art : Hansol Oak Valley resort’s look at illustration is rare among places of its size

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New museum exhibit celebrates book art : Hansol Oak Valley resort’s look at illustration is rare among places of its size

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A new exhibition at Museum San in Wonju, Gangwon shows works by award-winning Korean illustrators as well as book covers by some of the most influential Korean artists like Kim Whanki (1913-64), Lee Jung-seob (1916-56) and Chun Kyungja (1924-2015). [MUSEUM SAN]

Koreans traditionally associate fall with reading.

And when you add the panoramic mountains and crisp air of Korea’s Gangwon Province, immersing yourself in the art of storytelling may become an even more charming way to spend the season.

A new exhibition at Museum San in Wonju, Gangwon, is a show that brings literature and other forms of art together. The museum, located inside the Hansol Oak Valley resort, is known for its picturesque setting.

The exhibition, titled “Painting with a Story, Illustration,” displays award-winning illustrations - some of which are original copies. In addition, visitors can also enjoy book covers drawn by some of Korea’s most beloved artists, which are also part of the museum’s collection.

“Illustration is one of the most direct and communicative art genres,” Choi Yong-june, the museum’s chief curator, said. “We think the exhibition will help people redefine their existing perception of illustration.”

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“Run, Toto!” (2009) by Cho Eun-young, the 2011 winner of the Biennial of Illustration Bratislava. [MUSEUM SAN]

Officials of the museum also note that until now, illustration-themed exhibitions in Korea mostly took place in children’s museums or relatively small museums, and very rarely at renowned museums that specialize in art.

In the first section of the exhibition, named “Painting with a Story,” works by 14 Korean illustrators are on display. These include works by Goh Gyong-sook, who won the BolognaRagazzi Award in 2006; Cho Eun-young, the 2011 winner of the Biennial of illustration Bratislava; and Choi Mi-ran, who also won the BolognaRagazzi Award in 2010.

Goh’s “Magic Bottles” (2005) revolves around the idea of bottles from a grocery containing unexpected things, whereas Choi’s “The Stone Temple of Seokguram” (2009), drawn with ink and charcoal on hanji (Korean mulberry paper), is about the children of Korea’s Silla Dynasty (57 B.C. to A.D. 935), taking a journey to the Seokguram Grotto with their individual wishes.

In the second part of the show, titled “Literature and Art,” visitors can enjoy drawings by Kim Whanki (1913-64), Lee Jung-seob (1916-56) and Chun Kyungja(1924-2015) that made the covers of several literary magazines.

“It’s notable how the exhibition brought drawings from book covers into the museum,” the organizers said through a press release. “We hope visitors take an interest in the ‘published art’ that they may have otherwise overlooked.”

BY KIM HYUNG-EUN [hkim@joongang.co.kr]



*The exhibition runs through Feb. 26, 2017. For details, visit www.museumsan.org, or call 033-730-9000.


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