November 29 - December 23, 2005

Gallery Korea at the Korean Cultural Center New York
(460 Park Ave. 6th Floor, New York, NY 10022)

Opening reception: November 29, 2005 - 6-8 pm

Korean Cultural Service NY presents the exhibition Nature + Accident = Image at Gallery Korea, featuring seven leading Korean painters; Seok-Cheol Ji, Won Jang Jin, Tae-Suk Ju, Il-Hae Kim, Kang-Young Kim, Myung-Sik Kim, and Seok-Ju Lee, who will demonstrate the broad interpretations of nature, both real and imagined. 

While four artists; Seok-Cheol Ji, Tae-Suk Ju, Kang-Young Kim, and Seok-Ju Lee focuses on hyper-realistic painting techniques, when they depict objects, the other three artists; Won Jang Jin, Myung-Sik Kim, and Il-Hae Kim takes semi-concrete or semi-abstract painting techniques using various blown-up images in detail without losing density and finesse.

The seven chosen artists are highly appreciated, not only in Korea, but also abroad and are well known for their unique and famous color paintings. They are all in their mid-fifties and have been distinguished for their talent to describe their chosen subject matter with exquisite colors and unique techniques. They have tried to contain and express nature as a common subject with traditional methods like oil or acrylic painting. The viewer can always find natural objects such as flowers, woods, sand, and scenery in their paintings, although the issues raised by each artist are diverse. 

The "Nature + Accident = Image" show will run from Tuesday, November 29 until December 23, at Gallery Korea, Korean Cultural Service NY, 6th Fl. 460 Park Ave., NY. There will be a reception and refreshments on Tuesday, November 29, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Gallery Korea's hours are 10 am - 8 pm Monday through Friday, and 10 am until 4 pm on Saturday. For further information contact the Gallery Korea (curator Yu Jin Hwang at 212-759-9550 or email nyarts@koreanculture.org). 

Seok-Cheol Ji
Realistic small chair descriptions have been a long standing symbol of Seok-Cheol Ji's work. The chairs in his painting represent a desperate and lonely human being. The artist has said, "The small chair, which becomes my favorite before even becoming aware of it¢®|No matter what is left, time, memory or reminiscence, what I want to talk about is, the human being, the inner landscape some have lost, through the metaphor of the chair."

Won-Jang Jin
Jin has been regarded as a colorist of extraordinary originality, and one who reshaped pictorial space as a vehicle for psychologically complex emotional states. His painting explores boundaries between abstract and figurative work. Recognizable images don't lose their original shapes but are recreated with the artist's own colors and forms. People praise the unique and beautiful color combinations in his painting.

Tae-Suk Ju
While Ju's work could be seen as a usual concrete painting, he doesn't stick to a description of mere vibration but works to perceive it with a modern viewpoint. As he draws from very usual and accidental scenes, he reveals the fact that he never shows his own feelings or subjective emotions. His works seems to be motivated by criticism of civilization, and also seems to express the intellectual and idealistic aspect of modern art.

Il-Hae Kim
At first glance, Il-Hae Kim's oil paintings may seem like pretty pictures of flowers or landscapes, but upon closer examination one realizes that the images are not about the flower, but an exploration of the painting process, or of painting itself. Kim has been well recognized for his sensitive color choice and soft brushwork. Many biometric shapes are used with a bold, bright, and vivid color scheme to make his artwork stand out. One feels the sensations of beauty in a new light, when observing his paintings.

Kang-Yong Kim
Since 1997, the artist has produced series of bricks which he painted on boards with finely sifted sand. The brick images look so real that viewers have an illusion of looking at three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface. He also creates a spatial structure of light and shadow, which founded on imagination more than on reality, makes his geometric shapes come to life in their own way. 

Myung-Sik Kim
Kim's paintings show a living diary. He catches scenes from his memories and eaves them on canvases. Those memories could be from his old hometown, friends, or places where he has traveled or stayed. As some write his or her personal diary every day, he records his story with color, line, and shapes on canvas. In his recent paintings, he added brighter, more vivid colors and simplified images which indicate his active life in New York and Korea. As his numerous exhibition history shows, he is a real painter who makes every effort to establish himself in the art world.

Seok-Ju Lee
Lee continues his extremely delicate technique of repetitive brushwork with a hair-fine brush to render hyper realistic details of an image that becomes his character rather than a mere representation of an object. In relation to his work, he talked about love of people, plants, and animals with gentle diction and an amicable expression. He has found the marvelous beauty of nature, even in a wild flower or a small weed. Indeed, battling against the wind and waves of modern Korean society, he has chosen the natural landscape as a metaphor for the stern reality of life. 

While cutting edge contemporary art, using various new media leads to the mainstream of the contemporary art world, the seven painters represented in this exhibition presents a fresh look at painting through traditional values, and demonstrate how Korean modern painters have developed their art over several decades. Their work offers what modern audiences, who are addicted to find new media and new art, have overlooked. It is really fortunate that viewers have an opportunity to see the works of these seven fine artists in one space during this exhibition.

Miro Yoon