Shinyoung Chung

  • Park Seo-Bo

    The phrase “Korean Modernism” has been unjustly burdened by its association with a series of overpowering, mostly foreign references, such as Monochrome, Informel, and Minimalism. The work of Park Seo-Bo is both a primary cause and the chief victim of such categorizations. Park, at age seventy-six, has often been called the strongest painter in recent Korean art history and a pioneer.

    As with other artists in his milieu, Park’s earliest influences arrived from the West either directly from Paris or filtered through the Japanese press during or after the occupation. For the fledgling painter

  • Zuyoung Chung

    The Confucian emphasis on “pursuit of tradition” has laid a subconscious guilt trip on contemporary Korean art. Straying far from the tradition of ink painting on hanji (Korean paper), the country’s primary art form aside from ceramics until the early twentieth century, contemporary artists have been greatly influenced by Western modernism. By contrast, Zuyoung Chung’s mountain landscapes are masterful hybrids of native style and the adopted tradition of oil painting.

    Chung has painted landscapes since her school days in Düsseldorf and Amsterdam, when she sketched abstracted pastoral scenes. When

  • Do-Ho Suh

    Like many international artists, Do-Ho Suh leads an itinerant life, hopping from his family home in Seoul (where his father is a major influence in Korean traditional painting) to his working life in New York. Migration, both spatial and psychological, has been one of Suh’s themes, manifested through biographical narrative and emotionally inflected architecture. This show unveiled his new “Speculation Project,” 2005–, featuring the first, fourth, and fifth of the five “chapters” of “Fallen Star,” one of the project’s fifteen projected sections.

    Unfolding in a nonlinear procession—both Matthew

  • Lee Inhyeon

    An integral member of Seoul 80, the flagship avant-gardist collective of the Korean contemporary-art scene circa 1980, Lee Inhyeon is the embodiment of the artist as intellectual. Lee’s first solo show in three years featured a dozen new works from the ongoing series he’s been working on since 1993, all with the Foucauldian title L’épistémè of Painting.

    A prototypical work by Lee is a color-field painting that sets dark Prussian blue against the natural beige of unprimed canvas. The brown/ blue monochrome tradition in Korea has been the emblem of serious and respected scholar-painters since the

  • Noh Sang-Kyoon

    Noh Sang-Kyoon has had but one modus operandi for more than a decade: He glues rows and rows of sequins all over canvases and found objects, giving every item a signature glistening finish. You may have noticed his twinkling sequined Buddhas at the Armory show in 2004 or in Basel any year since 1999; at the Venice Biennale in 1999, he covered three walls with large sequined canvases. Appropriated from the glitzy world of fashion, sequins still register as gaudy, faux-luxe, and sexy, even when applied to monochromatic painting. Tightly aligned on the surface of the canvas, each reflects light,