“Nuovo Cinema Coreano”, in streaming gratis.

Il Consolato Generale della Repubblica di Corea di Milano ha organizzato “NUOVO CINEMA COREANO”, un programma di proiezioni gratuite in streaming di alcuni film coreani di successo.

Si parte con il film “Mademoiselle” del regista Park Chan-wook, una magnetica storia di intrighi e segreti di cui è vittima una giovane ereditiera nella Corea degli anni ’30, visibile, in collaborazione con la Cineteca di Milano e Altre Storie, dalle ore 10.00 di martedì 16 giugno fino alle ore 10.00 del 19 giugno su www.cinetecamilano.it, previa registrazione gratuita sul sito della Cineteca per la visione in streaming.

In asta due “Tesori Nazionali” del Kansong Museum.

Il noto Kansong Art Museum ha deciso di vendere all’asta due preziosi manufatti buddhisti. Si tratta di due sculture classificate dallo Stato sudcoreano come “tesori nazionali”, e pertanto sottoposte a particolari tutele e vincoli. Sono il tesoro n. 284, Buddha dorato in bronzo, e il tesoro n. 285, Bodhisattva in bronzo dorato, risalenti al VI e al VII secolo.

Il Kansong Art Museum è un museo privato situato a Seoul, fondato nel 1938 dal ricco mercante Chun Hyung-pil (1906-1962), che collezionò preziose opere d’arte coreane durante l’era coloniale giapponese per impedirne il furto e tutelare le preziose eredità culturali coreane. Il museo possiede circa 5000 manufatti tra cui ben 12 classificati come “tesori nazionali”.

Il museo ha purtroppo dovuto affrontare delle difficoltà finanziarie negli ultimi anni e la vendita si è resa necessaria per la sopravvivenza dello stesso. E’ quanto dichiarato alla stampa in questi giorni dall’attuale dirigenza.

La legislazione sudcoreana, fortunatamente, vieta la vendita del patrimonio culturale di questi tipo all’estero, e pertanto i beni rimarranno in Corea del Sud. La casa d’aste selezionata per la vendita, fissata per mercoledì 27 maggio, è K-Auction.

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The well-known Kansong Art Museum has decided to put on sale two precious Buddhist artefacts. These are two sculptures classified by the South Korean government as “national treasures”, and therefore subject to special protections and restrictions (the treasure n. 284, gilded bronze Buddha, and treasure n. 285, Bodhisattva in gilded bronze, dating sixth and seventh centuries).

The Kansong Art Museum is a private museum located in Seoul, founded in 1938 by the wealthy merchant Chun Hyung-pil (1906-1962), who collected valuable Korean works of art during the Japanese colonial era to prevent theft and protect the precious Korean cultural heritages. The museum owns 5000 artifacts about, including 12 classified as “national treasures”.

The museum has faced financial difficulties in recent years and the sale has become necessary for its survival. This is what the current management has told the press these days.

Fortunately, South Korean legislation prohibits the sale of cultural heritage of this type abroad, and therefore the assets will remain in South Korea. The auction house selected for sale, set for Wednesday 27 May, is K-Auction.

KOREAN DANSAEKHWA MASTERS: LEE UFAN, PARK SEO BO, LEE BAE AND HA CHONG HYUN

by Chiara Aluigi – Art history books seem to ignore the existence of Dansaekhwa (단색화, also transliterated as Tansaekhwa), which literally means “monochrome painting” and refers to the loosely organised movement that arose in South Korea during the 1970s, a significant moment in modern Korean history.  The end of Japanese colonialism on Korea, followed by Park Chung Hee’s authoritarian rule, led state-planned modernization to pave the way for Korea’s astonishing economic growth. However, human rights abuses were rampant in such pursuit, to the point that Lee Ufan, one of the most prominent exponents of Dansaekhwa, defines the 1970s in Korea as an “oppressive and windowless reality”. Dansaekhwa Art can, therefore, be seen as the “sole heir” to the ideologies pertaining to an era in which hope and helplessness coexisted.

The English transliteration “Dansaekhwa” was used for the first time at the 3rd edition of the Gwanju Biennale in 2000The at the time curator of the Biennale, Yoon Jin Sup, describes the movement as not influenced by those qualities identified within Western Minimalism: according to Sup, “Dansaekhwa possesses aesthetics traits inherited from specifically Korean cultural sentiments, historical traits and reasoning”. It is characterized by a unique “Koreaness”, uncontaminated from the influence of any other Asian or Western cultures, which is a rather unique feature, considering the current globalized nature of the world.

‍The Japanese audience was the first to acknowledge Dansaekhwa, organising the Korea: Five Artists Five Hinsek, White show, held at the prestigious Tokyo Gallery in 1975. On the other hand, the movement started being recognized within the Western audience only during the last decade, thanks to the 2001’s Lee Ufan’s retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum and to the exhibition Dansaekhwa and Minimalism organized by the gallery Blum & Poe in 2016.

Exhibition View, Lee Ufan, Guggenheim 2001. © The Guggenheim.

Dansaekhwa artists such as the aforementioned Lee Ufan, Park Seo Bo, Lee Bae and Ha Chong Hyun – whose works have been represented by blue-chip galleries as well as major cultural institutions- sublimated the painful memories of the war and colonialism through a holistic and meditative art, producing an so-called “art form of the mind”. If the past generation had been troubled by the horrible memories of the war, mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression are increasingly suffocating the contemporary man, who is entrapped into a bubble where money and appearance seem to be the only factors determining whether one’s existence can be considered worth it or not. While mental health is an issue too often ignored by society, without specifically addressing such problematic, Dansaekhwa masters seem to address it in an inexplicit way: in fact, their works, soothe the viewer’s preoccupations, acting as a balsam on the wounds.‍

Park Seo Bo, Ecriture No. 950719, 1995, Signed on the reverse, Mixed media with Korean paper laid on canvas. Work included in exhibition “What’s Up Hong Kong” in 2019, LVH Art.

According to the Dansaekhwa master Ha Chong Hyun, the movement was not collectively established, it was rather as if the movement’s exponents were “facing a wall while being in the same room”, in the sense that their works shared the reflections of the same troubled period of their country. However, Park Seo Bo is often regarded as the “founder” of Dansaekhwa: similarly to the Impressionists rebelling to the Parisian Salon, Park went against the conservative style upheld by The National Art Exhibition with its Manifesto Against the Grand Art Exhibition of Korea, in which he sustained the quality of the new abstract form pursued by Korean artists at the time. It must be noted that Dansaekhwa’s abstractions are conceptual rather than purely aesthetic: they are self-sufficient without the implementation of any anecdotal or narrative aspects, offering, at the same time, a peaceful zone of positive energy, purity and spirituality to their viewers. The sincerity – which is one of the most fundamental Confucian values – of the artist plays a fundamental role in determining the quality of the artwork. Furthermore, such sincerity can be achieved only through “the accumulation of time, during which the artist’s mind is thought to seep into the canvas” through the medium he adopts. Korean scholarly tradition stands as the basis for this unique commitment to the art practice itself, ultimately resulting in the disappearance of negative states of mind. According to Park Seo Bo:‍

“Korean scholars back in the day sat in sarang bang(reception rooms), clearing their throats and grinding ink all day. They repeated these mundane actions over and over again. While repeatedly grinding the ink, they found their thoughts and feelings—such as anger—more at ease. Through this repetitive action, they rendered themselves pure and more self-aware.That was their method of removing evil and cultivating goodness to reach purity.” –P.C.B

Ecriture No. 950719 is part of the series Ecritures, started by the artist in the early 90s. Inspired by the Taoist philosophy, according to which men could reach the zen, or purity of mind, through the repetition of the same action, he applied repetitive gestures on the canvas while taking advantage of hanji’s (Korean mulberry paper) malleability and resilience.‍

View of the exhibition Écriture at Perrotin Paris October 12 – December 21 Photo: Claire Dorn © The artist & Perrotin

The medium adopted by the artist plays a fundamental role also in the oeuvre of Lee Bae: the Dansaekhwa master chooses to use the natural material of charcoal, bringing into his artistic practice the meaningful connection between Korean traditions and nature. In Bae’s canvases the black charcoal ink, made with water-fed pigment, passes through the paper creating a unique pattern of brushstrokes.‍

View of the exhibition “Promenade” at Perrotin, New York (USA), 2019. © Perrotin.

‍Commonly seen as a poor material, during Korean history charcoal was actually endowed by symbolic meanings, as it was considered a protector and purifier. For instance, Korean families used to hang charcoal over the door when a baby was born to ward off sickness. Nowadays, charcoal is still part of Korean cooking techniques: it is used in the making of soy sauce, to prevent bad bacteria from growing during the fermentation process. Furthermore, Lee Bae himself underlines the “richness of this poor material”, which after being applied by the artist on the canvas through wise and solemn gestures, enable the viewer to explore the realm of his mind. Furthermore, the work Issu du Feu, through the dark tones provided by charcoal, creates the perfect meditative atmosphere for the viewer to face his own fragilities. It recalls the ancient Greek concept of παθει μαθς (pathei mathos), which literally means that “wisdom arises from suffering, and that personal experience is the genesis of true learning”.

Lee Bae, Issu du Feu, , 2001 Charcoal on Canvas. Work included in exhibition “What’s Up New York” in 2017, LVH Art

‍A crucial figure for Japanese and South Korean art scene, Lee Ufan is a pioneer of the former’s Mono Ha and of the latter’s Dansaekhwa. The work From Line no. 800128, greatly summarize the artist’s strengths: an elegant austerity obtained through dedication and meticulous labor. The painting process behind the work, in fact, is visible, with the pigment being denser on a side and fainter on the other. The canvases of the From Line series needs the viewer’s gaze to complete them: the brushstrokes’ movements described by the fading lines on the canvas are, in fact, activated through the act of looking.‍

Exhibtion View, Lee Ufan, PACE Gallery New York 2018. © PACE

‍Furthermore, the work From Line no. 800128 can be looked at from different perspectives: from the upper side of the canvas to the lower one, it is as if the Ego of the painting (and of the viewer) slowly vanishes into the void, while from the lower to the upper one, its (his, her) purified soul progressively materialise. It is the concretisation of a catharsis, which is finally materialised through a deep blue, considered as the heaven’s colour. According to art historian Joan Kee, Ufan’s artistic production is characterised by an “aesthetic unselfconsciousness”,which gives for the viewer a new meditative zone of tranquility

From Line no. 800128,1980 Signed and dated on lower right. Signed and titled on the reverse. © The artist and LVH Art. Work included in exhibtiion “What’s Up Hong Kong” 2019, LVH Art

‍The oeuvre of Ha Chong Hyun brings further the main elements of Dansaekhwa through original and unexpected artistic techniques. Influenced by the turbulent political situation of South Korea at the time, he incorporated into his works a material which was still easily acquirable during such an unstable moment: burlap sack. During the Korean War, in fact, burlap sacks were used by American soldiers to transport goods and it was possible to find them in any markets. Such a “cheap” material assumed a symbolical meaning for the artist, representing the resistance through the pains of the Korean population.

From 1974, the artist started creating his signature works, the Conjuction series, adopting the so-called “back-pressure-method”, which is based on pushing layers of painting from behind the burlap. This manipulation of paint led to its “surpassing” onto the canvas’ surface through the holes of the burlap. Once again, therefore, the spotlight is turned on the medium and, in particular, on its materiality and tactility. Furthermore, similarly to Lee Bae use of charcoal, it must be praised the artist’s ability to create outstanding artwork using a commonly considered “cheap” material.

Ha Chong Hyun, Conjunction 17-38,2017, Oil on hemp cloth. This work was exhibited on exhibition “What’s Up London” 2019, LVH Art

As it can be noticed from the work Conjunction 17-38, the artist began to use colours in his canvas, a phenomenon also happened to Lee Ufan’s From Line series, as can be seen from the work From Line No.79088. The rather captivating reason behind the addition of colours is reported by the Korea Times in an interview with Ha Chong Hyun, who recounts:‍

“About 10 years ago, I encountered the god of the underworld in my dream. He asked me what my profession is and I answered ‘I am a painter’. The god stormed at me with, ‘What kind of painter does not use colour?’ and the remark struck my head”. -HCH

On a final note, Ha Chong Hyun underlined that the right setting is fundamental to enable an artist to truly express himself. Furthermore, he decided to live and work in the countryside rather than in the hectic city of Seoul, affirming that “his greatest mentor is nature itself”, thus recalling once again the fundamental role played by nature and its meditative connotation for Dansaekhwa Art.‍

The Cheonggyecheon Stream in Seoul. A gem in the middle of thecity, hidden alongside the river there are audio speakers playing classical music, creating the perfect atmosphere to read and meditate. ©Chiara Aluigi

The reflections on the pains of the past, the unique Korean traditions and the constant presence of nature, are blended together using the talent and constancy of Dansaekhwa artists, producing an art of unprecedented quality and spiritual meaning and enriching to the world the only contemporary art movement that is so purely construed as an ethical practice.

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Articolo originale pubblicato su LVH Art

Yi Am

Yi Am (이암, 李巖, 1499 ~?), è stato uno dei più importanti e influenti pittori della Corea del 1500.
Discendente in linea retta del Re Sejong il Grande (era il nipote del quarto figlio di Sejong), è celebre oltre che per i suoi ritratti dei membri della famiglia reale, per i dipinti che ritraggono animali, piccoli insetti e fiori.

Clicca sull’immagine per visualizzarla in alta risoluzione.

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Yi Am (이암, 李巖, 1499 ~?), is one of the most important and influential painters of Korea in the 1500s.
A straight descendant of King Sejong the Great (he was the grandson of Sejong’s fourth son), he is famous for his portraits of members of the royal family and for his paintings depicting animals, small insects and flowers.

Click on the image to view it in high resolution.

Capolavori dell’arte coreana. Masterpieces of Korean art.

“Il mercato di montagna, nebbia schiarente” – 산시청람도 (山市晴嵐圖)
Artista sconosciuto, 1500 circa
Inchiostro su seta, 115.3 x 60 cm

Nella Corea di epoca Joseon, gli studiosi, gli intellettuali, hanno sempre rivestito un ruolo di rilievo nella società. E’ per questo motivo che sono stati spesso ritratti nell’arte coreana. Qui, ne abbiamo un esempio di altissimo livello.

Questo dipinto di grandi dimensioni raffigura diversi momenti e diverse scene della vita quotidiana di uno studioso eremita e delle sue attività. Nell’angolo in basso a sinistra, lo studioso è ritratto mentre accoglie il suo ospite nel cortile. Nella sezione centrale in basso, entrambi sono mostrati mentre incontrano un altro viandante sul ponte e si scambiano dei saluti. Dopo aver attraversato il ponte, lo studioso visita un amico che vive in un complesso di più edifici. I due amici decidono di fare una breve passeggiata. Entrambi appaiono su una scogliera a terrazze, godendo di una vista sulle montagne e della fragranza di un vecchio pino trasportata dal vento. L’uomo continua il suo tragitto con i suoi due servitori, e tutti sono ritratti mentre attraversano un tortuoso ponte di legno. Proprio oltre la grande montagna rocciosa, si apre una vista panoramica su una vivace piazza del mercato, suggerendo che potrebbe essere il luogo in cui l’entourage è diretto. Forse l’erudito deve acquistare oggetti come libri, rotoli di carta e pennelli, tutti elementi essenziali per la vita accademica. Verso l’angolo in alto a sinistra, un altro gruppo di viaggiatori sta attraccando sulla riva del fiume che conduce alle porte della città; possono essere diretti allo stupa buddista a più piani incastonato sulla cima delle montagne.

L’opera è conservata al Cleveland Museum of Art.

CLICCA QUI PER VISUALIZZARE L’OPERA IN ALTA RISOLUZIONE.

“Mountain Market, Clearing Mist” – 산시청람도 (山市晴嵐圖)
Unknown artist, 1500s
Ink on silk,115.3 x 60 cm

In Joseon-era Korea, scholars and intellectuals have always played an important role in society. It is for this reason that they have often been portrayed in Korean art. Here, we have a great example.

This painting depicts several vignettes of the scholar-hermit’s various activities and daily life. In the the lower left corner, the scholar-hermit is portrayed welcoming his guest in the courtyard. In the middle section on the lower bottom, the scholar and his guest are shown encountering another traveler on the bridge and exchanging their greetings. After crossing the bridge, the scholar visits a friend who lives in a compound of multiple buildings. The two friends decide to take a short walk. Both appear in a terraced cliff, enjoying a mountain vista and the fragrance of an old pine tree carried by the gentle wind. The scholar continues his journey with his two servants. They are portrayed crossing a winding wooden bridge. Right beyond the colossal rocky mountain, a panoramic view to a bustling market place unfolds, suggesting that it may be the place where the scholar-hermit’s entourage would visit. Perhaps the scholar need to buy items such as books, rolls of papers, and brushes, all essential to scholarly life. Toward the upper left corner, another group of travelers is landing on the river bank that leads to the city gate; they may be headed to the multistoried Buddhist stupa nestled on the top of the mountains.

The painting is conserved at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE WORK IN HIGH RESOLUTION.

Il video nell’arte contemporanea coreana.

Quando e come gli artisti coreani si sono approcciati al video come medium di espressione artistica? Qual è il contesto del suo sviluppo in relazione all’arte coreana? Yi Won-Kon, teorico dei media e membro della prima generazione di videoartisti coreani, esamina 30 anni di storia della videoarte coreana dagli anni ’70 agli anni ’90 sulla base dei suoi risultati di ricerca e delle sue esperienze come parte della scena artistica di quegli anni. Dal suo punto di vista, i pionieri della videoarte coreana negli anni ’70 si sono concentrati sul video come strumento di contemplazione e creazione nel contesto dell’arte sperimentale d’avanguardia. Con l’influenza di Nam June Paik e lo sviluppo del mezzo video, gli anni ’80 portarono alla nascita di opere che esploravano la specificità media del video o combinandola con sculture e installazioni. Durante gli anni ’90, la videoarte ha subito un’espansione nella forma e nei contenuti sotto l’influenza del postmoderno occidentale. Non perdetevi questo splendido e completo articolo pubblicato sulla rivista Art in Culture (in coreano) e qui, su The Artro in inglese.

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Nelle immagini qui sopra nell’ordine: Park Hyun-ki, Kim Duk-nyun, Yi Won-Kon, Oh Sang-ghil

I coreani amano l’arte. Parlano i dati.

Da 26 anni “Il Giornale dell’Arte” e “The Art Newspaper” producono un report analitico sui numeri delle principali mostre d’arte del mondo.

Dal report del 2019 emerge chiaramente come tra le mostre d’arte (a pagamento) più visitate a livello globale figurino alcune esposizioni coreane.

Nel dettaglio: la mostra più visitata al mondo è stata “Tutankhamon: tesori del Faraone d’oro” a Parigi, con 1.423.170 visitatori.

Subito dopo troviamo:

– al 2^ posto: “Choi Jeong Hwa: Blooming Matrix”, al National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art di Seoul, con 804.871 visitatori;

– al 3^ posto: “Yun Hyong-keun”, al National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art di Seoul, con 799.098 visitatori;

– al 4^ posto: “What Ought to be Done? Work and Life”, al National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art di Seoul, con 736.171 visitatori.

A seguire nella classifica, tra le prime cinquanta posizioni, troviamo altre mostre coreane alle posizioni 23, 26, 27, 44.