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Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

A little memory of Korea for your walls – lovely woodblock prints at Mokspace

With their current exhibition, Underneath the Gam Tree, MokSpace continues its recent form of putting on exhibitions of work which is both affordable and desirable.

Hyun Jeung: Persimmon
Golden persimmons against a golden background

Hyun Jeung’s woodblock prints will remind you perhaps of William Morris or Charles Voysey: gingko, peony, persimmon, jasmine and apple (reflecting her childhood origins in Daegu) in delicate interweaving patterns.

Hyun Jeung: Peony 1Hyun Jeung: Peony 2

Two peony prints from the same block

She captures the atmosphere in her own words:

Like many Koreans, we used to have a large Gam tree – or Kaki tree – in our backyard. In the summer, its generous leafage would bring freshness to the house, playing with the wind to paint symphonies of shade and light on the grass. And in the winter, the plump gam fruits would scatter orange dots against the snowy sky.

Although a series of prints is made from the same woodblock, each individual print is subtly different, as Hyun Jeung varies the inks used each time.

Hyun Jeung: Apple
Hyun Jeung’s print of an apple tree – memories of a childhood in Daegu

Sometimes a bold black and white is used, while sometimes, as in the case of her persimmons and peonies, something more naturalistic.

Hyun Jeung: Jasmine
Intertwining stems of Jasmine

But probably my own favourite is her gingko: one print is coloured in silver, another adds some bronze; and in the background is a hint of calligraphy as one might find in a traditional ink painting. The way the ink sits on the page it almost looks as if the design has been printed on a transparent piece of silk, so delicately is it done.

Hyun Jeung: Gingko
A delicate Gingko from Hyun Jeung

A little memory of Korea on your wall. With prices in the £300 – £500 range, you’ll be seriously tempted. Catch the exhibition before it closes on 16 July, making way for a display of sports-related art for the Olympics.

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