Park Chul | Jeong Hyun Sook
06 July 2022–07 August 2022 | Dirimart

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Dirimart is pleased to present the Park Chul | Jeong Hyun-Sook exhibition held in collaboration with the Gallery Dado. Actively contributing to the Korean contemporary art scene since 1994, Dado proposed two established artists from its roster to exhibit their works for the first time in Istanbul. To initiate a cultural exchange with Seoul, one of the most vivid art scenes of our days, Dirimart brings together a selection of recent works by the artists.

In his abstract compositions shown in the exhibition, Park Chul uses Hanji, namely the traditional Korean paper, and natural dyes to mimic straw mat surfaces. Here, the artist is in search of aesthetics of surfaces that vanished due to rapid changes in the Korean way of living. Reflecting the spirituality of Korean cultural traditions, Chul’s paintings excavate the emotional attachment he had for the daily objects easily abandoned and forgotten. In the Ensemble series, he tries to catch the majestical rhythm of life. He uses natural dye mainly composed of indigo (blue), nutgall (purple), and safflower (Red) pigments to express an eco-friendly, natural feel, whereas the violin, as the symbol of Western influence in Korean modernization: a representation of harmony and collision between Eastern and Western worlds.

Jeong Hyun-Sook is inspired by light, which in myth and in practice, gives life. It has long been the practice of humans to attempt to understand and define the life force through metaphysical means. Inspired from another important object of Korean culture, the vase, her abstractions exhibited in the current show are in dialogue with her acrylic paintings bearing mother-of-pearl lines. The artist painstakingly juxtaposes mother-of-pearl lines, this charming material of decorative arts, making the surface interact deeply with the light and angles of gaze. These ideas and senses related to aesthetics throughout centuries, objects, and elements are embodied in her works manifesting a contemporary perspective.

Having acquired modern Western fine arts education, both artists developed their art practices, focusing on interpretations of the symbols of their culture to create a link between the ancient and contemporary. Their first exhibition in Istanbul at Dirimart suggests a perspective in a long-debated issue on how to position the heritage of today’s art.

Park Chul (b. 1950, Korea) has been recognized as one of today’s most outstanding Korean Hanji artists for his distinctive methods giving modern interpretations to traditional Korean paper, straw matting, and wooden tablets with decorative designs, in pursuit of new aesthetics and new expressions. He uses Korean paper and printed and handwritten pages of old books, as well as ethnic, nostalgic items. His themes, such as tradition, Korean characteristics, the body, labor, persistence, sweat, breath are all derived from scenes of his daily life since childhood. Chul’s solo exhibitions include the Gallery Dado, Seoul (2019); Cube Art Museum, Seongnam (2018); Gallery Juliana, Seoul (2017); Youngeun Museum of Contemporary Art, Kwangju (2014) and Gallery Sun, Seoul (2009). His group exhibitions include Leeungno Museum, Daejeon (2020); Museum SAN, Kangwon-do (2015); Gorcums Museum, The Netherlands (1999) and The 17th São Paulo Biennale (1983). Chul’s works have been included in prominent collections such as the The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Art; Busan Metropolitan Museum of Art; Walkerhill Art Museum, Seoul; Sungkok art Museum, Seoul; Youngeun Museum of Contemporary Art, Gyeonggi-do; Hongik Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; Park Soo Keun Museum of Art, Kangwon-do; Seosomun Shrines History Museum, Seoul; Korean Embassy in Sweden, Thailand, Russia, Germany, and Indonesia. He lives and works in Seoul.

After specializing in Western painting in her undergraduate study at the Ewha Womans University, Jeong Hyun-Sook (b. 1956, Korea) carried on her graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her practice particularly echoes profoundly impressed sounds through a minimal application of gold, silver and copper dusts, which is a manifestation of an esoteric phenomenon of the process of life from cradle to grave. The artist uses naturally iridescent materials, such as mother-of-pearl, to capture the eternity of light on canvas. The traditional qualities of these materials, which can be found in Nageon-Chilgi lacquerware and objects, solidify the historical transcendence of light that the artist is trying to capture. Her works have been exhibited in various institutions and galleries such as Jeollanamdo Okgwa Art Museum (2018); Dado Art Gallery, Seoul (2017); Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul (2001); Lee Gallery, Berlin (2010); Sejong Museum of Art, Seoul (2005) and Insa Art Center, Seoul (2006); and have been featured in international art fairs around the world. Her paintings are acquired by major Korean art collections such as the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul Museum of Art, and the Sammlungen Collection. She lives and works in Seoul.