Dansaekhwa – a Biennale collateral event in Venice, 7 May – 15 Aug

Lee Ufan returns to Venice with some site-specific work as part of an official collateral event of Dansaekhwa artists: Dansaekhwa Collateral Event of the 56th International Art Exhibition la Biennale di Venezia Dates: May 7–August 15, 2015 Opening: May 7, 7pm Venue: Palazzo Contarini-Polignac | 874 Dorsoduro | 30123 Venezia www.villaempain.com | www.kukjegallery.com | www.tinakimgallery.com […]

2012 Travel Diary 1: Dansaekhwa – Korean Monochrome Painting at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-do, Saturday 24 March 2012. Whenever I come to Seoul I always try to get to Seoul Grand Park in Gwacheon to visit the National Museum of Contemporary Art. Even if there isn’t a particularly interesting special exhibition on (and that’s rare), their permanent collection is always worth a browse. This time, the special […]

Dansaekhwa: Korean Monochrome Painting, at MMCA Gwacheon

A major retrospective of possibly modern Korea’s most representative artistic style: Dansaekhwa: Korean Monochrome Painting National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon 17 March – 13 May 2012 Highlights Korean monochrome paintings from the 1970s to the present in the largest such exhibition in Korea. Landscape of the mind as embodied by monochrome painters […]

Poetry in Clay at the Metropolitan Museum

Poetry in Clay, the exhibition of Buncheong Ceramics from the Leeum Museum currently at the Metropolitan Museum is seriously worth a visit, with some beautiful pots. Interesting that they also juxtapose a couple of 20th century paintings. Kim Whanki’s dot paintings really do look like the dot decoration on one of the pots # Curator […]

I need to win the lottery – fast

Coming up this month is a big sale of Korean work at Christie’s sale rooms in New York. The flagship piece is a mature work by Kim Whanki (1913-1974) with the rather dull title of 2-V-73 #313. If the estimated $1 million price tag is beyond all but the uber-rich and lottery winners, there are […]

A visit to the Whanki Museum (환기 미술관)

The Korea Tourist Office website advises us that Kim Hwan-gi (1913-1974) (known internationally as Kim Whanki — and he signs his paintings just plain “Whanki”) “was Korea’s top artist of modernism”. It is therefore frustrating that when you go into the Tourist Information Offices in Insadong no-one has heard of him, still less of the […]

Focus on a piece of happiness

The story goes that Bernard Leach, browsing in a Seoul antiques store in the mid 1930s, came across a Choson dynasty Moon Jar and held his head in disbelief at its beauty. And, after one of the more inspired impulse buys in recent art history, he walked out of the shop “carrying a piece of […]

The Leeum Art Gallery, Seoul

A brief walk from Hangangjin subway stop (line 6) near Itaewon is the Leeum Gallery, set up by Samsung. No expense has been spared on the building itself, with prestigious foreign architects engaged to build it, and an impressive collection of artworks. The building itself is very spacious, and has three main sections. Older artworks […]

Kim Young-na: 20th Century Korean Art

(Lawrence King, 2005) A collection of articles, turned into a book. As I’m neither an art critic nor an art historian I’m going to restrict myself to a chapter-by-chapter summary of the ground covered. A useful overview of colonial period art. Highlights the difficulty of studying & researching the art history of the period, in […]