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Artist uses charcoal to bring Italy closer to Korea

Italian artist Omar Galliani’s newest exhibition “Seoul’s Soul” consists of multiple monumental charcoal drawings that demonstrate his ability to blend together reality, spirituality and the imagination.

But Galliani brought more than a collection of enigmatic, sensual artworks to Seoul ― he brought with him conduits for diplomacy between Italy and South Korea.

“Seoul’s Soul” is Galliani’s first exhibit in Korea, and the first Italian exhibit to be displayed at the prestigious Museum of Art at Seoul National University,” said Lucio Izzo, director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Seoul.

“It is especially meaningful that he accepted to exhibit in Korea in the same year in which Italy celebrates its 150th anniversary.”
Italian artist Omar Galliani’s exhibition at the Museum of Art at Seoul National University. (Italian Embassy in Seoul)
Italian artist Omar Galliani’s exhibition at the Museum of Art at Seoul National University. (Italian Embassy in Seoul)

In the past, Galliani has held several exhibitions in China and Japan. “Seoul’s Soul” completes his itinerary of the three major civilizations of East Asia and gives the Korean public the opportunity to approach the culture from which his art is inspired.

By utilizing aesthetic and methodological techniques reminiscent of art from the Italian Renaissance, Galliani integrates many aspects of Italy’s culture and history of art into his exhibit.

Sergio Mercuri, the Italian Ambassador to Korea, hopes that Galliani and “Seoul’s Soul” will help create a better understanding of contemporary Italian culture in South Korea.

“Exhibitions play an important role in the overall relationship between Italy and South Korea,” said Mercuri. “By sharing cultures, we can strengthen our cultural understanding of each other.”

Galliani also hopes that he will be able to utilize art as a universal approach to strengthening diplomacy between Italy and other countries.

“This is Galliani’s global vision,” said Izzo.

In the case of “Seoul’s Soul,” Galliani hopes to use art to strengthen ties between Italy and South Korea.

Artist Omar Galliani’s exhibit will be on display on the third floor of Seoul National University’s Museum of Art from July 15-Aug. 28.

By Xing Lin, Intern Reporter (xinglin.xl@gmail.com)
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