Viewing emotions through subjective landscapes

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Viewing emotions through subjective landscapes


Sunny Kim’s painting “Passage,” left, and Choong-hyun Roh’s painting “End of Summer,” right, are part of the two-person exhibition at Space BM that runs through Dec. 11. [SPACE BM]

Despite the growing popularity of landscape photography and videos, landscape paintings are still loved.

This is because what we see is not the same as what photos capture, as we see things and scenes with our personal knowledge, feelings and emotions, and because painters can express what we subjectively see with their body and brush, many artists, including the renowned David Hockney, say.

A view of the ongoing exhibition at Space BM in central Seoul could help understand this. The show features landscape paintings by two artists in their 40s - Sunny Kim and Choong-hyun Roh.

At first, the two artists’ paintings look similar to each other. The styles are far from being abstract, and the colors have low chroma, so they have calm and meditative atmospheres.

But a closer look reveals their differences. Roh’s paintings, many of which depict the flooded riversides of the Han River in Seoul in the rainy season, deliver the feeling of lethargy in the humid and heavy air of Korea’s sweltering summer season.

On the other hand, Kim’s paintings, which depict imaginary landscapes based on the artist’s perceptions and emotions, have more surrealistic ambience.

“My landscapes are what I didn’t actually experience, so they have the senses of floating,” the artist said at the gallery. “My paintings are mainly about expressing emotions.”


The exhibit runs through Dec. 11. Admission is free. Take bus Nos. 143, 401, 406 or 730 and walk 10 minutes from the Crown Hotel stop. For details, visit or call (02) 797-3093.
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