Seojung Art Center presents Rooted Island, a solo show of Korean artist Lee Choun Hwan. The exhibition illuminates the artist’s ongoing explorations of the Korean landscape, and the land of where Lee himself settled. With the title 'Rooted Island', Lee alludes to his hometown, the 'island' of Wando, and simultaneously the Korean 'island' where the artist has taken root - a peninsula with blocked connections to the continent.
The works on display are tied together by their demonstration of Lee’s life-long endeavour to explore his roots, using this as the main subject matter in his artistic practice. The exhibition presents the transition of various materials used in Lee’s earlier works, tracing his development of expressive methods adopted throughout his practice.
In his Mood of the Mountain series, Lee reflects on his experience of climbing the famous mountains of Korea, where he encounters Beopjeong, a novelist and monk known for the Musoyu (Non-Possession spirit) – marking a turning point in Lee’s career, and what led to The Moon Jar series. Lee emphasises the contrast between subjects against the backdrop of Obangsaek (the traditional Korean colour scheme).
Through The Moon Jar, Lee explores the complete immersion of Musoyu, resulting to a complete elimination of the subject and an abstractness of being. It is through this interaction that Lee begins his search for his origins. In the Light+Grain series, which showcases the moonlit sea of his hometown, Lee begins to express his personal enlightenment. Through abstraction, Lee uncovers his discovery of his hometown origins, painting a portrait of the Korean landscape and its beauty.
Lee Choun Hwan (b.1956), who was born in a small Korean island, Wando, grew up with beautiful landscape. Lee started painting spontaneously after learning calligraphy in ink from his grandfather. The artist’s affection for his hometown led to the respect of the nature and Korea. This exhibition presents works by Lee, who had devoted himself to ink painting for more than 20 years, created with an application of the Western painting style for the first time.
Rooted Island is curated by Tae Young Kil, and presented by Seojung Art Center