London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Event news: ARTTALK — What is Dansaekhwa?

At the moment I’m struggling with Park Seo-Bo’s big solo show at the White Cube, so I’m hoping that this talk might help me approach it with greater understanding.

ARTTALK: Contemporary Korean Art Today

What is Dansaekhwa? The Korean Monochrome Movement and Park Seo-Bo
Thursday 3 March 2016, 6:30pm
Korean Cultural Centre UK | Grand Buildings | 1-3 Strand | London WC2N 5BW
Main Entrance on Northumberland Avenue
Register via 020 7004 2600 or [email protected]

Park Seo-Bo: Ecriture (描法) No. 26-75 (1975). Pencil and oil on canvas 131 x 162 cm
Park Seo-Bo: Ecriture (描法) No. 26-75 (1975). Pencil and oil on canvas
131 x 162 cm. © the artist. Photo © White Cube (George Darrell)

Please join a discussion on Dansaekhwa with Lecturer Dr. Charlotte Horlyck and the curator Katharine Kostyál, moderated by Dr. Sook-Kyung Lee.

ARTTALK: Contemporary Korean Art Today (ARTTALK hereafter) is an inaugural talk series for Spring 2016. In collaboration with a selection of the UK’s distinguished arts and cultural institutions, ARTTALK provides a platform to explore and understand Korea’s prominent artists and their practice. Using recent exhibitions in the UK as a backdrop featured artists, curators, and critics of international standing will offer audiences an extended opportunity to learn more about Korea’s art scene right in the heart of London.

Now with its third instalment, the Korean Cultural Centre UK presents ARTTALK: Dansaekhwa (The Korean Monochrome Movement) and Park Seo-Bo on Thursday 3 March from 6.30pm. This special talk will discuss Dansaekhwa (or, Tansaekhwa) — the term refers to a radical style of minimal painting that emerged in South Korea in the 1970s, a movement that continues to influence today. Characterised by reductive, meditative compositions and a neutral colour palette, Park Seo-Bo, Chung Sang-Hwa, Ha Chong-Hyun, Kwon Young-Woo, and Lee Ufan are known as the stalwarts of this movement.

Moderated by Dr. Sook-Kyung Lee (Lead Research Curator of Tate Research Centre), Dr. Charlotte Horlyck (SOAS, History of Korean Art) will discuss the sociopolitical and historical context affecting the emergence of Dansaekhwa. Katharine Kostyál (Curator, White Cube) will provide insights into works of Park Seo-Bo while sharing her story of how she discovered the movement and curated the Park’s first solo exhibition (2016) of his works in the UK titled ‘Ecriture 1967-1981’.

While paying particular attention to Park’s works, this talk will delve into the significance of Dansaekhwa in the history of Korean art. Being conscious of western aesthetic developments, artists of this movement elected to incorporate highly specific eastern elements into the physical and psychological structures of their work. Park described the process as “emptying oneself by repetition.” Which, after all, visualises conceptions of process, time, labour, and materiality as an aesthetic product.

Park Seo-Bo’s exhibition (Ecriture 1967-1981) at the White Cube Mason’s Yard runs until 12 March, 2016.

Charlotte Horlyck

Dr. Charlotte Horlyck is a Lecturer in Korean Art History in the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Previously she was the Curator of Korean Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. She has published widely on Korean material culture art and archaeology, in particular on ceramics and metal wares of the Goryeo kingdom, including their collecting in the early 20th century. More recently she has worked on modern and contemporary Korean art. Her co-edited volume (with Michael Pettid, SUNY Binghampton) Death, Mourning, and the Afterlife in Korea from Ancient to Contemporary Times (Hawai’i University Press, 2014) was selected for a Republic of Korea Ministry of Education Award (2015).

Katharine Kostyál

Katharine Kostyál has been working with contemporary art in London for over 15 years. She has previously exhibited the work of many notable artists at both South London Gallery and Simon Lee Gallery, including Larry Clark, George Condo, Tracey Emin, Hans-Peter Feldman, Donald Judd, Sherrie Levine, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Jim Shaw and Christopher Wool. Now a Director at White Cube, she curated a well-received exhibition in 2015 of lead paintings by German expressionist painter Günther Förg. Her current exhibition with celebrated Dansaekwa artist Park Seo-Bo can be viewed at White Cube Mason’s Yard until 12 March 2016.

Sook-Kyung Lee

As Lead Research Curator of Tate Research Centre: Asia, Dr. Sook-Kyung Lee leads Tate’s research in modern and contemporary art of the region. She is also Curator of Tate’s Asia Pacific Acquisitions Committee, an international art collection initiative. Lee was previously Exhibitions & Displays Curator at Tate Liverpool (2007- 2012) and curated a number of exhibitions and displays including Doug Aitken — The Source (2012-13), Thresholds (2012-13) and Nam June Paik (2010-11). She has also curated Nam June Paik, a collection display at Tate Modern (2014-16), and served as the Commissioner and Curator of the Korean Pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). Lee has organised and participated in several symposia and conferences internationally, such as Dislocations: Remapping Art Histories (Tate Modern, 2015) and Trauma & Utopia: Interactions in postwar and contemporary art in Asia (Mori Art Museum, 2014). She has also written and lectured widely on modern and contemporary Asian art, focusing on East Asian avantgarde art practice and its aesthetics.

Park Seo-Bo

Park Seo-Bo graduated from the painting department of Hong-Ik University in Seoul in 1954 and received an Honorary Doctorate from Hong-Ik in 2000. He has been widely lauded throughout his career for championing Korean art, and was awarded the Silver Crown Cultural Medal in Korea in 2011. His work has been exhibited internationally, including the Venice Biennale (2015, 1988), Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul (2014), Busan Museum of Art (2010), Portland Museum of Art, Oregon (2010), Singapore Art Museum (2008), Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2007), The Miyagi Museum of Art, Sendai (1993), Tate Liverpool (1992), Brooklyn Museum, New York (1981), and Expo ’67, Montreal (1967). His work is included in the collections of the Hirschorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, M+, Hong Kong, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, UAE, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, amongst others.

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