Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Prominent artist Lee Sung-kun is showcasing his artwork in Việt Nam for the first time through an exhibition on horses which opened yesterday.
Lee is famous not only in South Korea. He has had successful exhibitions in the US, France, Germany, Australia and Austria.
His works are displayed at many important places around the world such as the Blue House (the South Korean presidential residence in Seoul), the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, the Pentagon (US), Konkuk University (South Korea), Malacanan Palace (the presidential residence in the Philippines) and the Municipal Administration of Kawasaki (Japan).
The exhibition includes more than 50 paintings on Hanji, a traditional Korean paper known for its durability.
Though Lee had not been to Việt Nam before the exhibition, he has researched Vietnamese culture and history. He expressed the admiration for Vietnamese heroes such as Võ Nguyên Giáp (1911 – 2013), Saint Gióng (one of the Four Immortals) and Trần Hưng Đạo (1228 - 1300).
Images of these heroes on horse back inspired him to create these paintings.
“Horses are symbol of bravery, freedom, speed, endurance and strength,” he said. “Việt Nam is developing rapidly, like a horse at a prance. My horses represent the spirit and strong will of Việt Nam, which always moves forward into the future.”
Lee said when he came to Việt Nam, he felt the dynamism of Vietnamese life through young people.
“People and vehicles moving on the streets in create different lines in the crowd,” he said. “Sometimes I feel like they will crash into each other, but they don’t; it’s incredible.”
“In Việt Nam, I see myself in the young people,” he added.
Park Hyung-sik, chairman of Ui Chongpu Fine Arts Association, said Lee’s art frees itself from the limits of tradition and opens up new, lyrical ways of seeing.
“Each painting creates a source of energy with movement and colours,” he said.
Graeme Sullivan, chairman of the Columbia University Department of Arts and Humanities, said he was captivated by the enigmatic energy of the figures and their lifeblood.
“His animals, whether mundane or mythical, found in markets or mountains, are not representations that are merely edited to reveal their essence,” he said. “Rather, they are embodied and enlivened as if the artist has taken on their individual life force as he paints them by seeing them from the inside instead of merely looking from the outside.”
“Lee selects subject matter that draws on what is all around us and takes it to the visual limits of his perceptive intelligence. And in doing so he offers us a new range of interpretive possibility and an invitation to join him on exuberant journeys to new spaces and places with those he knows and shows in his unique way.”
“Beginning in events and actions that capture everyday experiences, lively and leisurely scenes are imbued with a visual energy that lifts them off the page and animates our appreciation of what we may see and feel around us,” he said.
The exhibition will run through October 31 at Daewoo Hotel, 360 Kim Mã Street, Hà Nội. — VNS