Korean summary painter Park Web optimization-bo hopes his artwork will take in folks’s stress

SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) – If art is a form of expression, Park Seo-bo’s paintings, known as the father of Korean contemporary art, may not be art at all.

The eighty-year-old opened a new solo exhibition entitled “PARK SEO-BO” in Seoul’s Kukje Gallery on Wednesday with 16 of his “dansaekhwa”, the Korean monochrome paintings he came for.

At a press conference at the gallery, Park said the purpose of his paintings was not to reveal or express, but to “empty myself.”

“In the 20th century (artists) vomited everything they felt onto the canvas under the name of ‘expression’,” says the painter, who will be 90 years old in November.

“Then people bought the pictures, put them on the walls and were attacked by the pictures that (artists) were throwing up. It’s not great, it’s wrong in this day and age,” he said.

Park stated that, in his opinion, art should heal people who are already under great stress and trying to keep up with the fast pace of an increasingly digitized world.

“A painting shouldn’t pounce on the viewer, but rather absorb the person’s fear like blotting paper,” he said. “That way, the person should feel comfortable and happy.”

Park’s latest exhibition shows works from his late Ecriture series, all of which were composed on canvas with traditional Korean paper, “Hanji”, from the 2000s onwards.

In contrast to the white paintings of his early Ecriture series, which were created in the 1970s and 80s, the most recent works are often an explosion of intense and vivid colors, ranging from neon green to a deep crimson red.

At other times, Park borrows softer hues like pale greens, grays, or faded blues and purples from the nature he sees around him.

“Everything comes from nature, including colors,” said Park. “The displays in the shop windows change every season, and the colors you see in the latest fashion styles are all secondary to nature. And these are my teachers. “

The six paintings in the front gallery are color representations of air, cherry blossoms, rape blossoms and wine, while the 10 paintings in the rear gallery are reminiscent of the colors of ripe persimmons, maple leaves and golden olives.

While his health prevented him from doing projects that required a lot of physical activity, Park said he still works five hours a day in front of an easel and plans to do his current project, which he started in 2019, next at the Venice Biennale introduce year.

The exhibition in the Kukje Gallery runs until October 31.

Park’s works are also in the collections of renowned institutions worldwide, including the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Center Pompidou, Paris; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; and M +, Hong Kong.

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