카카오톡으로 퍼가기 페이스북으로 퍼가기
2020 Painting
2020. 4. 17 – 2020. 8. 30
Organized by
Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation
Hosted by
Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art
Artists By
Lee Myung Mi, Chung Hee Min, Jung Jung Yeob, Lee Dong Gi, Jeong Zik Seong, Kong Sung Hun, Bin Woo Hyuk, Ha Chong Hyun, Park Kyung Ryul, Ahn Ji San, Concreate-lab
Supported by
Sandoll Cloud, Samhwa Paints
Music advisory and provision
Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra
Mankind’s history of painting is much longer than the history of language. Starting from our prehistoric ancestors to us modern citizens, we all have expressed ourselves with pictures before using words. And when you examine them, you see that each person’s expression is unique. When an individual sees an object, a person, or a moment, he observes and recognizes it through his own lens and makes an original expression. And now, please take some time to reconsider what expression really is. Especially in painting, every detail has to be painted manually, so the artist must observe his subject at length. And even if the painting is based on a photograph, he must scrutinize every detail to make an accurate copy.
The time of observation lets us discover many facets that we might pass by in typical situations, and a painting is made of various such elements discovered during observation. Also, because the artist is turning the three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional surface, he must make countless decisions, framing and interpreting the subject in some way to convert it into a flat surface. The many layers in a watercolor painting, thin films of ink in a print, or the passage of time contained in a portrait; all are sedimentations of the artist’s observations, born from his interminable, penetrating gaze. That is why painting helps us take a better look at the world.
When we see a painting, we see a flat, finished surface, but in fact, each one is made by overlaying innumerable layers on each other, a process that embodies the artist’s labor and time. And paintings let us take a new look at the objects, people, and moments we see in everyday life, things we think we know well. Every painting is the aggregate of the artist’s actions, endeavors, and invested time, and this aura of time and labor is what makes people feel certain instinctive emotions.
David Hockney(1937~) said, there is no doubt that the urge to paint is deeply rooted in us, and the proof is that every child loves to paint. And he added, while most people lose that urge, some manage to hold onto it. Our exhibition, Painting, features artists who took loving care of their creative urges and continuously developed them to make paintings.
Each artist sees the world through his own unique lens and turns it into a painting through endless hours of labor. So, when you get to meet a painting, we kindly ask you to go slow, take your time and see how the artist has built numerous layers to create his expression. And perhaps, these paintings might help you discover the wealth of joy hidden in the world.
Major Artworks
1_이명미, 놀이-사물 그리기, 캔버스에 유채, 194x260cm, 1985
Play-Drawing Things, Oil on canvas, 194x260cm, 1985
Daegu Art Museum Collection

Painter Lee Myung Mi has challenged the identity of painting for the past 40 years. Contemplative yet always proactive, she has been establishing a new painterly language guided by her unique sentiments and instincts. Her use of bright, vibrant colors and unrestricted brushstrokes deliver joyful and vigorous energy to the viewers. Lee believes that every aspect of daily life can be a part of the painterly language.
Play-Drawing Things (1985) is a case in point, where everyday objects like an umbrella, vase, and telephone were used as the painting’s main characters. Simplified in her inimitable style, the objects dance on in the canvas and exhilarate the viewers.
If you made a painting of everyday objects, what would it look like?
2-1_정희민_쥬시 프루티 임포티드 바디, 캔버스에 아크릴과 오일, 겔미디움, 226x380cm, 2020
Juicy Fruity Improrted Body, Acrylic, oil and gel medium on canvas, 226x380cm, 2020

Living in an era dominated by digital images, Chung Hee Min focuses her attention on the human vision and the banality of images. Her artworks are created by taking digital images and turning them into paintings, which is a traditional medium. Chung’s oeuvre illustrates the various conflicts that could arise between humans and images. For example, when we look at a digital image, the sense of vision takes over areas that usually belong to the sense of touch. In response, Chung tries to create paintings that could awaken people’s senses in the face of the digital era. For her, painting is the tool with which she reminds herself that she is in touch with this world.
Images are constantly created and erased in the digital realm, and Chung preserves some of them on canvas in the hopes of awakening the modern men to the diversity of stimuli and sensations available in the world. She uses graphics software to draft her image, transfers it to a flat surface, paints the image, and adds bas-reliefs using various mediums. Her paintings feature fruits, something we easily see in daily life, but the fruits on these canvases feel different than the ones in real-life. The images often zoom in on objects or crop them abruptly, as if they are forcing viewers to feel new sensations.
Chung’s still-life objects are familiar yet unfamiliar. How do they feel to you?
3_정정엽, 최초의 만찬 2 ,2019 oil, acrylic on canvas 50x 100cm
The First Dinner 2, Oil, acrylic on canvas, 50x 100cm, 2019
Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art Collection

Jung Jung Yeob approaches her nearby surroundings as an individual, a member of the art industry, and a woman, and paints people or objects in her life from those perspectives.
The First Dinner series (2019) was created in the same way; Jung collected people who influenced her life, including the artist Na Hye Seok, poet Kim Hye Soon, and prosecutor Seo Ji Hyun.
In The First Dinner (2019), women preparing for dinner are instead invited to a dinner and become the main protagonists in the painting. Jung sees herself as the one who prepared this dinner, so she simply gathered everyone she wanted to invite.
Jung gazes at her subjects in a special way. Can you feel it?
If you hosted a dinner, who would you invite?
4_이동기_백스테이지 Backstage, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 140 X 240 cm
Backstage, Acrylic on canvas, 140x240cm, 2013

Lee Dong Gi, the creator of Atomouse and widely recognized as South Korea’s first-gen pop artist, said: “art is not about showing images, it’s about expressing thoughts.” Lee’s paintings start from combining art and popular culture, but they also engage in various other socio-cultural dualities. It was perhaps natural that Lee would become the icon of pop art, for pop art is a genre that combines conflicting opposites.
The Soap Opera series began in 2012 when Lee saw international fans of Korean TV series posting captured images on the internet. He was intrigued by how standardized these images were, and began a series of acrylic paintings that recreated the most stereotypical shots in Korean television. Scenes in Lee’s paintings are already familiar to most Koreans. Korean soap operas customarily end an episode by closing up on the actor’s face, and Lee based his canvases on the screen captures of such scenes. Through Soap Opera, Lee touches upon modern culture’s fascination with the alternate reality presented by TVs.
The paintings reflect the gaze of contemporary Korean citizens, and more importantly, they let us read into the present moment using a commonplace image in Korean pop culture.
Meet the actor’s eyes in the close-ups. What do they say to you?
5_정직성,200916, 캔버스에유채, 194x259cm, 2009
200916, Oil on canvas, 194x259cm, 2009
Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art Collection

Landscape painter Jung Zik Seong allows us to see ordinary landscapes with a fresh eye. Jung asks questions about the spaces we live in, ones we pass by every day and never notice, and turns them into protagonists in his paintings. Most Korean cities were created through rushed urbanization, and 200916 (2009) is a landscape painting depicting the unique traits of these cities. His monochrome landscape is filled by basic geometric shapes, almost resembling an abstract painting. But at closer examination, you can see low-rise apartments repeating throughout the canvas. The rhythmic landscape, what is it trying to tell us?
What landscapes do we pass by without noticing?
6_공성훈, 돌던지기 193.9x130.3cm Oil on Canvas 2017
Throwing Stones, Oil on canvas, 193.9×130.3cm, 2017
Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art Collection

Since 1998, Kong Sung Hun has limited himself to landscape paintings that depict daily-life scenes. To him, painting is a medium that can simultaneously show thought processes and stages of action.
Right after the 1997 Asian financial crisis struck Korea, Kong started painting the scenes he encountered. He became more interested in the landscapes that surrounded him and used the paintbrush — a tactile tool — to capture the spectacles.
The painting begins from the landscape of a countryside painted with forceful, alienating colors, but it gradually branches out to natural sceneries through profound contemplation and introspection of his own gaze.
Throwing Stones (2017) is a seascape depicted through painterly immediacy. The sea almost feels sublime, but when you look close, you can see the boys throwing stones into the sea. However, as you could see, the water is already turbulent with waves. What does this mean to you?
The painting depicts someone throwing stones into the foggy morning sea, and it is reminiscent of our attitude, that we would at least throw stones even when we are facing unpredictable, uncontrollable natural disasters.
7_빈우혁, 심연, 캔버스에유채, 195x350cm, 2019
Abyssus, Oil on canvas, 195x350cm, 2019
Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art Collection

Bin Woo Hyuk focuses on painting landscapes that are visible to the eye, and they almost console us when you look at them. Bin takes time to visit forests that are special to him and take walks, mesmerized in thought all the while. He paints landscapes, but the spaces he depicts are metaphysical ones, and to him, the forest is a corporeal yet non-existential entity, the product of a utopic imagination. Abysses (2019) is a pure abstract painting that focused entirely on the landscape, purged all familiar forms, and removed of all criticisms or meanings other than the scene itself. Spend some time looking into the big, panoramic canvas, and the enormous energy almost sucks you in, but you will also feel tranquility. You can see that it took Bin very long to finish this painting, and the energy of his labor can be felt. It also tells you that the act of painting provides peace to him. Stay around, spend some time in front of the canvas, feel Bin’s energy and heart, and imagine the landscape he had seen.
8_하종현,conjunction2, 대마천에 유채로 배체기법, 220x360cm, 1983
Conjunction 8, Oil on pushed from back of hempen cloth, 220x360cm, 1983
Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art Collection

Ha Chong Hyun, an artist who experiments with the materialities of various mediums, worked on the Conjunction series from 1974 to 2009. In this series, he pushed the paint out from the back of the canvas and created a unique style. The innovative painting method has also pioneered a new possibility in abstract painting. He used coarse hemp fabric as his canvas and pushed lumps thick, mud-like paint from the back out to the front, creating a distinct aesthetics where the paint is squeezed out from the small gaps between the threads. When the entire canvas is filled with squeezed paint, he then adds a few, minimal brushstrokes to finish the painting.
Ha believes that one must always try something new and unprecedented, and his inventive reverse-painting technique broke the prejudices in painterly traditions. Also, the oriental aesthetics in this series has received international acclaim. Calm yet forceful, Ha’s paintings show his endless passion for researching new subjects and the direct energy intrinsic to the act of artmaking.
Look close at the paint squeezed out between the threads, and feel the energy created by Ha’s actions.
Reverse-side coloring technique (baechae): A traditional painting technique used for making portraits on silk.
9_박경률, a meeting place, 가변설치, 2018
A Meeting Place, Oil on canvas, oil on paper, wrapped painting, glazed ceramic, wood, sponge, plaster, paper tape, orange, acrylic tube, clay, toy, wooden frame, Dimensions variable, 2018
Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art Collection

Park Kyung Ryul’s unique ‘sculptural painting’ expands the two-dimensional plane to three-dimensional space, but to visitors, her work might seem like a regular installation. It may not be obvious, but Park is a painter who creates paintings that visualize the realm of unconsciousness through a narrative. However, her narrative is made by collaging various visual symbols, and her tools are limited to the external factors of a painting, such as the painting’s location, curation, and the frames.
A painting is made of many elements, and she sees each element as an object. Two-dimensional objects (lumps of paint and brush marks on the surface of the painting) and three-dimensional objects (the results of Park’s abstract actions) are each read in the context of its location. Such acts of reading are, in fact, the act of seeing a painting. In A Meeting Place (2018), Park brought together every action related to seeing a painting (thus the title), and the artwork reviews the overall structure in viewing something.
Park says that action is a key feature in her artworks. Scan through her work and imagine what actions she might have taken to make the painting and the objects.
10_안지산_손 담그기, 2015, oil on canvas, 45.5x38cm
Soaking Hand, Oil on canvas, 45.5x38cm, 2015
ⓒJohyun Gallery

Ahn Ji San makes numerous drawings, practices, and preliminary studies before making each painting. His densely textured canvases remind you that paint, in fact, is a very physical substance. In Ahn’s opinion, painting is more direct and intuitive than any other medium.
Ahn’s oeuvre discusses things he has realized during the act of painting. In one case, to understand what paint felt like, Ahn used himself as a model, covered his body with paint, and washed it away. He wanted to share what artmaking felt like with his viewers, so he applied paint on his body and cleaned it away, hoping this eccentric yet innocent performance could provide an indirect experience.
Ahn performed a direct experience and turned it into paintings. What do you feel from them?
11_콘크리에이트랩_무한 그림, 가변크기, 2020
Canvas Magic, Projector, kinect sensor, computer, custom software, trackers, Dimension variable, 2020

Concreate Lab is an artist collective that uses digital technologies to provide new experiences. In this exhibition, Concreate Lab created a blank sheet of paper where everything is possible. Walk into the space they created, and you can start painting right away. Once you hold the brush, you can draw lines in any way you want, and paint any color you want. The installation will let you experience the stages of creating a painting and let you build up countless layers. Visitors can experience the analog technique of painting through digital media, a golden chance where they can try painting firsthand and understand how two-dimensional painting is created.
Things you have seen before, things you see now, something you have thought or imagined — you can express anything on this unlimited magic canvas!
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