Korean master to be shown for the first time in the city
Seoul Auction will present the first Hong Kong showing of works by Park Soo-keun (1914-1965), considered the most important artist in the modern South Korean art market.
He is best known for depicting the countryside and lives of villagers in post-war Korea. Inspired as a boy by Jean-Francois Millet's L'Angelus, Park devoted his artistic career to painting rural life.
Park achieved this by using thick layers of paint to give his works a rough texture. He then drew his subjects in black outlines on top of the paint layers to make it seem as if the work had been carved in stone. His work resembles the granite carvings of the Buddha seen on the cliffs along mountainsides and rivers in Korea.
One of his favourite subjects was women at work - washing clothes by the stream, at the market, or pounding grain. He also often painted children and young girls looking after infants.
Park also liked to paint trees in winter with bare branches, waiting for spring to come. For him, trees symbolised hope and perseverance when facing life's challenges.
Park began his career as a painter in the late 1930s, having come from a poor family and lacking in formal art training. He gained recognition at the Joseon Art Exhibition. After the Korean war, he sold his first paintings, mainly to foreigners. In the 1950s, he finally gained recognition as a talented artist in Korea.
Since his death, Park's work has been highly sought after by collectors. Only 300 of Park's works exist today, mostly in the United States.
However, visitors to the Seoul Auction will be able to view some of his paintings. One of Park's masterpieces, A Wash Place, will be on display here. Seoul Auction sold the painting in 2008 for US$5.3 million, a world record for any Korean painting. Other important works to be showcased include Children Jumping Rope, Way Back Home and A Farm Music.
Park Soo-keun Exhibition
October 2-3, 10am to 7pm The Library, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
October 4, 10am to 2pm Grand Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
October 3, 4pm The Library, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
A special lecture by Park Sung-nam, son of Park Soo-keun on his works and life
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