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“Jungbae Lee: Rub, Jam and Glimmer” on View Through February 11, 2024, at the ARARIO MUSEUM in SPACE

Exhibition view of “Jungbae Lee: Rub, Jam and Glimmer,” at the ARARIO MUSEUM in SPACE, Seoul. (September 21, 2023 – February 11, 2024). Courtesy the museum.

How would one reinterpret traditional Korean landscape paintings from a contemporary perspective? If you visit the Arario Museum in Space, you’ll find landscape works in the exhibition space. However, these works are quite different from the traditional landscape paintings we commonly know.

Artist Jungbae Lee (b. 1974) has been contemplating the contemporaneity of landscape paintings (sansuhwa) and depicted the scenery of contemporary society using various media. While expressing admiration for the beauty of nature, the artist has maintained a critical stance toward our society’s indiscriminate exploitation of nature for its needs and desires. However, in recent years, he has begun to accept the fragments of nature found in the city with a serene and calm heart rather than a sharp gaze. This solo exhibition, Rub, Jam, and Glimmer, showcases the artist’s internal changes and artistic exploration into new realms.

In this exhibition, the artist focuses on the process of geometrically shaping nature and concentrates on the subtle beauty revealed on the surface of the artwork through the repetitive application of color and scraping. In this exhibition, Lee reinterprets traditional Korean painting techniques, such as constantly applying the same color to complete a work, akin to the simultaneous use of contemporary perspectives. Like traditional Eastern painting techniques that involve repeatedly applying the same color to complete a piece, the artist reinterprets these methods through a contemporary lens. The exhibition features a variety of works, ranging from those portraying nature, such as the sun, mountains, and moonlight in geometric forms, to pieces like Inwangsan, created with pure gold and silver, and the new series Stone and Wood Drawing.

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