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Exploring the Lobby Galleries of Korea University
  • Writer : KU TODAY
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  • Date : 2023-02-14

Exploring the Lobby Galleries of Korea University
Paintings You Can See Only When You Slow Down

Korea University campus is in fact an art gallery.
You have probably seen paintings hanging on walls in passing when you walk into the campus buildings, climb up stairs or sit back on couches under soothing lights.
The paintings have always been there – receiving little attention – when you pass them by rushing to your next lecture.
If you search for them on the internet you will be surprised to learn that they are highly valuable pieces, like those you can find only at such places as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts. Now let us slow down and appreciate how they breathe life into and add color to university spaces.

How to Enjoy the Campus Galleries in the Freezing Winter

A collection of invaluable paintings and other pieces donated by alumni or owned by the Korea University Museum are placed around the campus in such buildings as the Main Hall, Centennial Memorial Samsung Hall, the Main Library, Hyundai Motor Hall, SK Future Hall, the Science & Engineering Library and the Medical Library. KU Today introduces some of the pieces to you, so you can discover your own favorites among the many on view.

# Main Hall

Dongchul Ha (河東哲, 1942~2006) / 2002 / Acrylic on Canvas

Light, as Dongchul Ha sees it, exists not simply as a concept, but also as an object of visual perception, and in this regard embodies the evolution of art in religions. Ha managed to find the right visual format to elevate the status of light to that of divinity, as the stained glass colors and structures transparent light so it can be metaphysically experienced. Light-Yang presents a large diamond shape at the center, formed by vertical lines drawn at regular intervals and diagonal lines crossing over them in two different directions. Red and blue constitute the main color palette, while there is a gradation of yellow and white. The whites at the top and the bottom give off an atmosphere of fantasy.

One of the painters who belongs to both the last generation who produced the “Hot Abstract” represented by Informalism and the first generation of the new wave that followed it, Dongchul Ha materialized the fundamental and eternal "Idea" in his paintings through the theme of light. The red-blue colors of Light-Ying, which are spray-painted, represent the spectrum of light. A meticulously planned synthesis of the intervention of the painter and elements of coincidence features the painting: the former realized by the lines produced at regular intervals through the use of threads coated in ink, and the latter by the dots of ink randomly sprayed over the canvas when the tightly stretched threads were let go of. Ha depicts the structures of openness and closedness in various manners, in this way variegating the theme of light.

Yeondo Park (1933~) / 1980 / Oil on Canvas
Part of the Ohsung Jaechul Kim Collection of the Korea University Museum, Strawberries was painted by Yeonda Park, the first son of painter Deuksoon Park. Subtle colors and expert touches constitute its realistic style, while its depiction of light and how objects look different depending on their angles of interaction with light add impressionistic elements.

Hyekyung Park (1961~) / 1977 / Oil on Canvas
Part of the Ohsung Jaechul Kim Collection of the Korea University Museum, Untitled was painted by Hyekyung Park, who is currently working actively across the globe. Her works – from conception to production – are not limited by conventional formats, and transcend distinct artistic styles.

Ildang Taeshin Kim (1922~2014) / Year Created Unknown / Oil on Canvas
Part of the Ohsung Jaechul Kim Collection of the Korea University Museum, Untitled was painted by Taeshin Kim, who embraced Buddhism at the age of 68. Ildang Daehyang is his Buddhist name. While he graduated from the Tokyo Imperial School of Arts and worked in Japan, he mainly painted Korea-themed subjects.

Left - Hanoh Kim (1949~ ) / 1977 / Oil on Canvas
Right - Deuksoon Park (1910~1990) / Year Created Unknown / Oil on Canvas

# SK Future Hall

Facing a Lotus (蓮花)
Eunjoo Kim (Alumni, Department of Home Economics) / 2007 / Cotton Quilting
Facing a Lotus was donated to KU by its creator Eunjoo Kim, an alumni of the Department of Home Economics. For 28 years she has committed herself to quilting, which she started doing while working as a school teacher. She is widely recognized in the United States and Europe for her Korean images created with the western technique of quilting. Facing a Lotus is located in the lobby on the first basement floor of SK Future Hall.

# Hyundai Motor Hall

Sunhyung Kim/ 2013
Sunhyung Kim materializes nature in mind into nature on canvas. Painted in blue colors that crawl, flow and run across the canvas, the garden is a representation of what people see in nature. GARDEN BLUE is one of Kim’s Garden Blue series.

Soohwan Oh (1946~) / 2012
Soohwan Oh has ceaselessly questioned the essence of art, practicing the Buddhist teaching of No-Self, for over 50 years of his career as an artist. Only the ones who embrace the gravitational forces of the truth, Oh claims, can truly reach the state of No-Self.

Seunghoon Park / 2013 / 150cmx120cm
Its title TEXTUS is a Latin root word of “text,” meaning textile. Seunghoon Park uses 16mm cine-films to shoot his objects in tiny parts, which he then weave into a “textile.” TEXTUS captures incomplete pieces of a moment he had in Inchon Memorial Hall, and assembles them into a strange mosaic.

Chunghwa Baekja Tuwoo Ho (靑畵白磁鬪牛壺; white porcelain piece depicting a bullfight painted in blue)E
Sunhyung Kim / 2013
Painted by Unbo Gichang Kim (1913~2001년) / Pottery by Songnam Sangho Shin (1947~ ) / 1980 / 69x 25.5 x 22 This porcelain piece was co-created by the established painter Unbo Gichang Kim and the potter Songnam Sangho Shin. Donated in 2017 by an alumnus, Juntae Yeom (‘58, Business Administration), it is the only existing porcelain piece that depicts a bullfight using Chunghwa (blue painting technique).


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Tel: 02-3290-1063 E-mail: hongbo@korea.ac.kr Update : 2020-10-28