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Lee Ung-no reaches international audience through Google Arts & Culture platform

Lee Ung-no is the first Korean artist introduced comprehensively on the online platform.

(Screen capture of Google Arts & Culture)
(Screen capture of Google Arts & Culture)

Artworks by Lee Ung-no (1904-1989) – a modern artist who created his unique style by successfully integrating Korean painting traditions with Western art -- are now available on the online platform of Google Arts & Culture for international audiences.

Lee Ungno Museum collaborated with Google Arts & Culture to showcase the artist and his artworks. Lee is the first Korean artist extensively introduced by the Google’s online art platform in collaboration with a local museum, according to the museum.

“Technology offers a lot of opportunities to interact with art and can help reach people and audiences that might much have not known about the artist before,” Simon Rein, program manager of Google Arts & Culture at the online press conference held Tuesday.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred the popularity in online exhibitions, there has been a “growing interest” in Google Arts & Culture” since it was launched nearly 10 years ago, he added. 
A part of Google Arts & Culture’s “Lee Ungno: The Artist Who Never Stopped” (Screen capture of Google Arts & Culture)
A part of Google Arts & Culture’s “Lee Ungno: The Artist Who Never Stopped” (Screen capture of Google Arts & Culture)

Titled as “Lee Ungno: The Artist Who Never Stopped,” it introduces the artist’s life story and 400 masterpieces with detailed explanations including explanations of the materials the artist used. Lee made art from any material he could get his hands on, including sand, cotton wool, Hanji (Korean traditional mulberry paper), rice paste and soy sauce.

The Lee Ungno Museum, located in Daejeon which is 140 kilometers south of Seoul, is dedicated to Lee and is home to 1,366 works by the artist.

The artist’s originality is well reflected in his paper collages, the abstract letter series that modernized calligraphy, giving abstract features to Chinese characters; and the “Gunsang (people)” series in which he filled a large canvas with hundreds of people drawn with dynamic ink brush strokes.

The museum is temporarily closed due to COVID-10 until July 26. Once it opens, the museum will unveil “Lee Ungno with Google Arts & Culture,” a special exhibition utilized with digital techniques of Google Arts & Culture such as the art camera system that zooms into artworks to capture the finest details of the brushstrokes, sketches and materials the artist used.

Launched in 2011, Google Arts & Culture has collaborated with about 2,000 art institutes in 80 countries. Google Arts & Culture’s Lee Ungno’s “The Artist Who Never Stopped” can be accessed at: artsandculture.google.com/project/lee-ungno

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)
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