Lee Jin-yong's paintings highlight the virtue of patience
Artist Lee Jin-yong’s paintings of books, now on view at Park Ryu Sook Gallery in Yongsan, central Seoul, will appeal to those tired of the ongoing pandemic and the re-tightened social distancing regulations.
The oil paintings that hyper-realistically depict old books worn by time and arranged on a shelf or in piles will calm and soothe viewers. In addition, they are the result of repeated, hard labor, that is the fruit of patience, which is an important virtue in the pandemic era.
The 60-year-old artist told the Korea JoongAng Daily earlier this month that his works are “not about representing real books but about repeatedly drawing lines that eventually together make the form of a book after an accumulation of labor and time.”
“It is just like rainwater flowing along a sloping valley between the roof tiles and continuing to drop on the same stone for a long time until it eventually wears into the stone,” he added.
He also uttered the parable of the raindrop at last carving into the stone in a 2017 solo show at Hakgojae Gallery, adding that he is “fascinated by how the repetition of exuding a small bit of energy over a long time makes a great change in a certain moment. That’s the way I work.”
Regarding the paintings, art critic Lee Geon-su wrote, “Even though photo-realism contains the meaning of a photo-like painting, eventually, it becomes a painting that doesn’t look like a photo, which implies an irony [...] Lee Jin-yong’s realism is not the simple and superficial naturalism but the subjective representation of objective reality."
The exhibition runs through July 31.
BY MOON SO-YOUNG [email@example.com]