The Korea Herald


Four Korean-born artists on show at Rockefeller Center

By Park Yuna

Published : June 29, 2023 - 09:48

    • Link copied

"Issu du feu" by Lee Bae is on display at the "Origin, Emergence, Return" exhibition at Rockefeller Center. (Courtesy of Johyun Gallery)

Korean-born artists’ works are on open display at the heart of New York City.

Johyun Gallery is presenting masterpieces by Park Seo-bo, Lee Bae, Jin Meyerson and Yoon Jong-suk -- inside and outside the Rockefeller Center.

Lee’s 6.5-meter-tall, site specific sculpture of stacked charcoal in the center's iconic Channel Gardens is the first work by a Korean artist to be shown at the outdoor space.

An installation view of An installation view of "Issu du Feu" by Lee Bae at Rockefeller Center (Courtesy of Johyun Gallery)

The exhibition is diverse -- the artists hail from different generations and work with different materials.

Known as a dansaekhwa master, Park has been using hanji, traditional Korean mulberry paper, for a long time. Lee has achieved global recognition using charcoal, Meyerson creates works with computer graphics and augmented reality while Yoon is an abstract painter.

The exhibition shows some 40 works by Park from the 1970s to the present. Park is one of the representative artists of the dansaekhwa movement that emerged in the late 1960s. He has stressed three notions in dansaekhwa: purposeless action in painting, a repetitive exercise in meditation, and material properties evolved from the meditation.

Lee considers charcoal a symbol of the condensation of time in eternity: In the process of producing charcoal, a 100-year-old pine tree gains a thousand years of life in its new form. He investigates the expressive potential of charcoal as a medium, reinterpreting the spirit of East Asian ink painting through his paintings and installations.

An installation view of the Ecriture series by Park Seo-bo at the An installation view of the Ecriture series by Park Seo-bo at the "Origin, Emergence, Return" exhibition at Rockefeller Center (Courtesy of Johyun Gallery)

Born in Korea and adopted by a family in the United States, Meyerson engages with issues of displacement, loss of heritage, post-colonialism and the expansive Korean diaspora.

Yoon shows three paintings inspired by the natural landscape of Korea, influenced by the Expressionist movement, cave art and Asian ink paintings. Yoon’s abstract paintings are “mindscapes” where the introspective landscape of the artist’s own thoughts and emotions merge with the outward landscape on canvas.

The exhibition by Busan-based Johyun Gallery, which is running from June 8-July 23, is part of a host of events at the Rockefeller Center celebrating Korean culture. The celebration, in partnership with the Korea Tourism Organization, explores art, fashion, music and gastronomy, and runs from July 19 to 23.