Exhibition : The 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Korean Modern Masters Lee Jung-Seob 1916~1990
03 Jun 2016 – 03 Oct 2016
For anyone who has interest in Korean modern art, I would like to recommend this art exhibition held by National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Deokstgung Palace. MMCA has three branches in Gwacheon, Deokstgung, and Seoul. Another branch is expected to open in Cheongju in 2019. My favorite is the one in Deokstgung. Deokstgung palace is next to the Seoul City Hall and I find it very charming to have an art gallery within the palace. 🙂
This year, MMCA Deokstgung celebrates the 100th anniversary of three Korean modern art masters, Pen Varlen(1916~90), Lee Jung-seob (1916~56), and Yoo Young-guk(1916~2002). I enjoyed very much the first exhibition of this series which was devoted to Pen Varlen. Now MMCA Deokstgung showcases the works of Lee Jung-seob, one of the most noted artists of all times in Korea.
Lee Jung-Seob is famous for his ‘Bull’ paintings. In his paintings, the bull represents himself and sometimes Koreans.
It is said that 25 of his bull paintings are left and the gallery displays 3 of them this time.
I liked many of his works, of course. But, what impressed me most was his love to his family. Due to Korean War, his Japanese wife and two sons left Korea for Japan. Lee Jung-seob also wanted to be with his family but he was not able to stay in Japan. His letters sent during this time shows how much he missed and loved his family. Gallery 3 on the second floor is dedicated to these letters.
Many letters especially letters for his sons contain illustrations. It shows his hope for reunification of family. As time went on, however, he felt more vulnerable and his hope dashed away. In the end, he stopped sending letters completely and he died alone in 1956 after struggling with illness.
This exhibition presents his works of about 200 pieces and 100 personal documents including letters. It was well explained how Korean modern history and his personal life influenced his works. The exhibition runs until 3 October, 2016.
Address : 99 Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
Telephone : +82 (0)2 2188 6000
Webpage : www.mmca.go.kr/eng
Operating Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday: 10:00~19:00, Wednesday, Saturday: 10:00~21:00
* Closed on Mondays
Admission : 7,000 won (inclusive of admission fee of Deokstgung palace)