“Meditative Journeys” presents the devotional works of two Korean artists, Sungyee Kim and Lee Kang Hyo (above), on February 25 through March 31.
Korean Contemporary Art has become something of a recent phenomenon in the western art world, reintroducing itself as a redefined artist community who celebrates ancient tradition while transforming notions of the past into international, innovative and modern works. Bold color accents natural materials while presenting “new” iconography with deep introspection and spiritual implications. Much of the Korean aesthetic lies in the subtle detail while maintaining elegant simplicity. (Above, Sungyee Kim).
Sungyee Kim creates densely layered paintings that incorporate the principles of I Ching with the Taoistic pursuit of becoming one with material. Sungyee shares, “A painting’s artificial, two-dimensional surface requires pure belief in spiritual values. It opens a door to the ideal. Nature is not comprehensible. Neither is a good artwork, because it resembles nature.”
“The incomprehensiveness of nature is the reason why all questions and communications start. We do not have any plausible answer to what life is, but we cannot stop thinking and talking about it. A good artwork can only show the endeavor to reach the answer.”
Lee Kang Hyo masterfully works in the tradition of Bun-cheong ceramics, characterized by a loose and informal application of white clay that replaced the Celadon, (Chong-Ja—the stuff of kings), ended by the Mongol Invasions in 1231 AD.
Lee Kang Hyo’s work infuses ancient tradition with whimsical and contemporary interpretation. Bun-cheong was created during the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392AD) and was commonly used by the aristocracy and commoners of Korea. The decorative style of Bun-cheong was created by stamping patterns or etching into the surface of the unfired clay and then covered with a white slip. The slip was either dipped in a tray or hand painted in a rough, hurried fashion with no consideration for precise detail.