Exhibition Of Korean works that reflects the country's modern art sensibilities
You can't really do justice to the ‘Korean Contemporary Spectrum' exhibition currently on at Lalit Kala Akademi in a single article. Just like you can't really take in all that the 150 paintings on display have to offer in a single viewing.
One of the largest expositions of Korean art in India to date, the exhibition presents a mind-boggling array of works representative of the lively contemporary art scene in Korea. The works cover a variety of styles and attitudes, painting a fascinating picture of a nation's modern artistic sensibilities.
Walk into the gallery, and you're greeted by vast, leisurely canvases and a profusion of distinctive imagery. On one hand, you have the idyllic landscapes, such as Jang Hye Sun's dreamy oil, ‘Fragrance of a lotus flower', Park Kwang Ho's gorgeous ink of the ‘First Snow' against gnarled trees, or Ryoo Myeong Ryeol's delicate ‘Pine tree'. On the other, you have the frenetic cityscapes, such as Kim Jong Hyun's traffic-filled lambda print ‘Landscape of a road crossing' or Seo Gi Hwan's densely packed sea of urban rooftops and skyscrapers, ‘Human landscape'.
The abstracts are equally striking, such as Lee So Yun's ‘A sonata in A minor', a beautifully textured mixed media work that's all glittering aqua and deep blue, or Lee Hye Ryun's eye-catching oil, ‘By sharpness', that's all gleaming shards of green glass against black. The play on colour ranges from bright and cheery, such as Oh Ku Sook's flower-covered ‘Festival' and fantastical, such as Jun Hyun Jung's ‘Remember', to dark and dystopian, such as Kim Hak Dae's nightmarish ‘The Circulation' or Lee Ji Hyun's ‘Coexistence 13'.
In total contrast to these free-flowing abstracts, you have the quiet, more traditional figuratives, such as Shin Dong Sook's ‘Emotion', depicting two introspective girls in Korean dress, or Kim Ha Na's rather touching oil of a Quasimodo-like gentle giant helping a damsel in distress in ‘Converse', and the delicate still-life paintings, such as Jeon Eui Sung's ‘Sentiment', depicting traditional urns, or Kwon Hyuk's oil ‘Jar', the broad canvas filled entirely with the soft curves of a single jar.
Then you have the determinedly modern works, such as Lee Jin Young's brightly coloured, graffiti-style acrylic, ‘The sensibility of today', or Shin Sang Cheol's mixed media work of a sleek, super-cool car – all shining metal and actual blinking lights – at a crosswalk, titled ‘Don't walk -2'. And that just about scratches the surface of what this unique exhibition – which covers two entire halls at the Akademi – has to offer.
(‘Korean Contemporary Spectrum' closes on Thursday.)