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Exhibition news: Memories of Korea, at Han Collection from 6 January

An interesting exhibition to start the New Year:

Memories of Korea – Cross-vision from East and West

6th – 28th January 2017
Han Collection | 30 Museum Street | London WC1A 1LH |


A collection of woodblock prints from both eastern and western artists, using traditional Japanese woodblock printing techniques along with a mix of western art styles of the time, such as Impressionism and Art Nouveau, show a unique and distinctive side of early 20th century Korea. Dive into the artists’, and indeed Korea’s, own memories of how the Korean people lived and dressed, along with iconic buildings such as ‘Great East gate’. Some of the prints, when shown at that time, would have been very interesting to non-Koreans, as they rarely, if at all, had the chance to interact with Koreans and see the Korean way of life, and the peninsula’s unique style. Prints showing exquisite items such as brightly coloured wedding gowns, or children’s traditional dress for celebrations, which would have been pleasantly different and interesting to foreign eyes, making ‘Memories of Korea’ even more extraordinary. These woodblock prints were created during the 1920s and the 1930s in Korea, with each of them showing a part of Korean culture, history and society, which may or may not be experienced today. To a certain extent, these pieces create a window for the viewers to experience and see life in a different time and place.

Paul Jacoulet

(1896 – 1960)


Jacoulet was born in Paris, 1896 and lived in Japan for most of his life. He was an artist, which utilised woodblock, or Japanese Ukiyo-e style printing techniques. The subjects of his prints are mostly people, they also depict Japan, China, Mongolia, and South East Asia, among others, as well as the ones seen here, which show Korea and its people, during the 1920s and 1930s. Jacoulet visited Korea on numerous occasions and died in Japan in 1960.

Elizabeth Keith

(1887 – 1953)


Keith was a Scottish artist whose works were significantly influenced by her travels to Japan, China, Korea, and the Philippines. She learned the art of woodblock prints whilst in Japan and became a part of the Shin Hanga, or New Prints movement, which occurred between 1910 and 1960. This Shin Hanga, style consisted of a fusion of traditional Japanese woodblock (Ukiyo-e) techniques and western styles of painting and generally consisted of subjects such as; landscapes, actors and people, to name a few.

Lilian May Miller

(1895 – 1943)


Miller was born in Japan in 1895, and was the daughter of an American consular official. She received training in Japanese painting styles at an early age, and after schooling in America returned to Japan for more painting studies. Miller was also a member of the Shin Hanga group. She published many of her prints in the 1920s and 1930s. Many of her prints feature scenes of both people and landscapes from both Japan and Korea where she spent most of her life. She was also versed in woodblock printing techniques, as well as being well versed in creating lyrical sketches as well as ink and oil paintings. Miller died in 1943 in San Francisco, USA.

Willy Seiler

(1903 – 1988)


Seiler was born in Dresden, Germany in 1903 and having studied art in Paris, Dresden, and Munich, he toured around Europe. Seiler left Germany in 1928 and went on to visit some 44 countries. He visited Japan and Korea among others numerous times and settled in Japan for about 20 years. He specialised in etchings, most of which featured scenes of life in Korea and Japan. The General and Pacific Stars and Stripes praised Seiler’s etching of General Mac Arthur in 1951, as an outstanding piece. He had also created an etching of the then South Korean President, Syngman Rhee, made in 1957 when Seiler visited Korea on a special assignment for Pacific Stars and Stripes. Apart from his etchings, he is also known for his “Willy Seiler Dolls”. These are small, authentically costumed little figurines representing everyday characters of Japan, Korea, and Okinawa.

Hasui Kawase

(1883 – 1957)


Hasui joined the Shin Hanga group in 1919. He designed mainly landscape subjects and his prints follow the traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e style, more than other artists. Best known are Hasui’s famous nighttime and snowing scenes. His prints feature almost exclusively landscapes and townscapes. Apart from prints featuring Japanese subjects, he also complete a few prints of Korea. In 1956, one year before his death, Hasui Kawase was declared a Living National Treasure by the Japanese government and was the first person to receive this honour.

Yoshida Hiroshi

(1876 – 1950)


Yoshida is considered one of the leading figures of the renewal of Japanese printmaking after the end of the Meiji period (1912). The renewal was based on two groups of artists, the shin hanga (modern prints) and the sosaku hanga (creative prints) movement. He is noted especially for his excellent landscape prints. Yoshida travelled widely, and was particularly known for his images of non-Japanese subjects done in traditional Japanese woodblock style, including the Taj Mahal, the Swiss Alps, the Grand Canyon, and other National Parks in the United States. He travelled extensively around the USA, Europe, Japan, Korea and much of Asia.

(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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