SEOUL, July 10 (Korea Bizwire) — What are Korean aesthetics?
“DNA: Dynamic & Alive Korean Art,” a new exhibition organized by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea (MMCA), is an effort to answer this question.
The exhibition, taking place at the MMCA’s Deoksu Palace wing in central Seoul, brings together artworks of various formats, genres and eras to highlight different facets of Korean aesthetics.
Under the four themes of “Sacred and Idea,” “Elegant and Simple,” “Decorative and Worldly” and “Dynamic and Hybrid,” the exhibition takes visitors on a journey transcending time to explore the definition of Korean aesthetics.
The exhibition offers visitors a chance to take in different artworks that are usually on show at different rooms or exhibition venues at a single venue.
For instance, Korean abstract master Kim Whan-ki’s signature dot painting and Buncheong celadon from the 15th century strike a resemblance that transcend 500 years of time.
A 18th century portrait of a Joseon-era beauty by legendary painter Shin Yun-bok is on display alongside a 1978 painting by Cheon Kyeong-ja that shows a woman with a cigarette.
Shilla-era gold crowns, designated as national treasure, are meanwhile on exhibition next to modern-day crafts that were inspired by the meticulous jewelry.
Another highlight of the exhibition is four pieces of artworks that are among the vast “Lee Kun-hee collection” that late Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee’s family donated in late April. It is the first time that the collection is being shown in Seoul.
The exhibition spans artworks of various formats ranging from pottery, Buddhist statues, craft, sculptures, paintings and even media art to show how artists expressed Korean aesthetics in different ways.
It also features works by around 100 artists — ranging from Joseon-era masters Kim Hong-do and Shin Yun-bok to more contemporary stars, like Kim Whan-ki, Lee Jung-seop and Paik Nam-june.
The exhibition runs through Oct. 10.