Gallery Korea presents the exhibition "Soul Ideologie"

July 1, 2009 at 6 pm

Opening reception: July 1, 6-8 pm


The Korean Cultural Service New York (KCSNY) is pleased to present Soul Idéologie, an exhibition introducing the recent works of six contemporary artists, Lee Kyu Hwan, Jung Yul Park, Giustina Surbone, Lorene Taurerewa, Kim Tae Soon, and Chung Shil Shim. Soul Idéologie is the fourth show composed of the finalists of Gallery Korea’s  “Call For Artists 2009” and will be held from July 1st to July 24th, 2009 at the KCSNY. The opening reception will be held at Gallery Korea, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on Wednesday, July 1, 2009.   

The title of the exhibition was drawn from a term used by Russ Long to explain a subculture within a society where individuals conduct themselves in such a way that strips away superficiality and gets down to the core of their existence. The work of these six artists is reflection of this concept. Kim Tae Soon, Lee Kyu Hwan, Jung Yul Park and Chung Shil Shim’s work is driven by traditional Korean sensibility, while the work of Giustina Surbone and Lorene Taurerewa is an exploration of the human condition. Both artists work with the figure in an attempt to capture the physicality and individuality of human identity and are fueled by their individual experience within their own cultures.   

Kim Tae Soon honors both cultural and spiritual heritage. They create an assemblage of real and constructed Korean tradition: old book pages and the representation of traditional Korean dress made out of Korean mulberry paper. Kim explores the expressions of multiple dimensions of individual identity viewed from cultural and historical viewpoints. The features of old books, such as fade out letters, color tainted surface, and worn out rims, signify the cultural lineage. It becomes the background of the newly fabricated cloth, symbolizing the nature of the self. Chung Shil Shim is also using the Korean dress as a main motif to portray the role of self and gender identity. Often painting herself in a Korean traditional dress, the artist expresses the bind and escape from the culture which she is from.   

Lee Kyu Hwan and Jung Yul Park succeed and modernize the formal Korean traditional motif. Lee Kyu Hwan transforms the ‘Saek Dong’ motif, a combination of pure colors in five or six tiers, into a variety ways of installations to promote what it stands for: harmony, happiness and peace. Her work ranges from a painting to large scale installations which include the Chong-Gae-Chon wall project realized in Seoul, Korea in 2005. Jung Yul Park is an expert of the traditional technique of Korean embroidery and needle art. “Kyu Bang” (women’s quarters) art originated from ladies who made various household object to wish prosper and longevity upon families and Park makes her own interpretation of tradition by combining needle work, embroidery and quilt techniques. 

Lorene Taurerewa and Giustina Surbone embody within their drawings and paintings the archetypal human figure. Against an empty background, the human bodies occupy a center of composition; which delivers a human existence of dignity and majesty as well as loneliness and isolation. New Zealand-born Lorene explores her identity and spiritual heritage through monotone drawings, inspired by the Asian portrait tradition. Giustina Surbone, a postmodern portrait painter, works exclusively with isolated figures against indefinite backgrounds. Her subjects create an imposing presence simultaneously perfect and imperfect, beautiful and grotesque, in all their varied color, texture and translucency.

The special workshop on “Saek Dong” is scheduled to be held at 4 pm on Wednesday, July 1st, along with artist Lee Kyu Hwan’s lecture. Participation is encouraged and free for all ages. 

Gallery Korea is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Fridays. For more information contact Ms. Yu Jin Hwang, curator at the KCSNY by phone: 
(212) 759-9550 or by email: nyarts@koreanculture.org.

Miro Yoon