Park Seo-Bo, Korean Avnat-garde @ Busan Museum of Art


Tuesday, February 1, 2011 - 07:40


Event Type: 

2F Exhibition Hall

Park Seo-Bo, a Forerunner of Korean Avnat-garde : Record His 60 Years

Content Park Seo-Bo, a Forerunner of Korean Avnat-garde : Record His 60 Years 

Park Seo-Bo, who was born in Yechun, Gyeongbuk in 1931, is the most influential artist and a major figure in Korean modern art in terms of his leadership and pioneering spirit. Since the Korean War he had been challenging the authority of the established art circle in which academism was dominant, and shocked the art world with his innovative way of painting where he recorded the action flows of his mind. During the 1950s, he had been a leading member of the most progressive, avant-garde group, The Hyun-Dae(Contemporary) Exhibition where he displayed the most massive-sized work, over size 500, which was the unprecedented in the history of exhibition in Korea, so that he could show off his enthusiasm towards abstract painting and artistic talents.
He returned to Korea after almost a year of staying in Paris, shortly afterwards he had a solo show, where  series firstly presented in 1962 and attracted a lot of attention. The series  are evaluated as a pinnacle of his early work and the most representative abstract paintings in Korean modern art. In addition to his personal achievements in art, as an activist he played a main role in forming an organization known as 《Actuel》, which was unified with 《Hyun-Dae Artists Association》 and 《Artists Association 1960》. Within a couple of years since it was set up, he got recognized the fact that they had been doing the same thing without any outcomes even with the efforts, so he dismantled the organization and then, between the middle of 1960s and the early 1970s, he had presented the geometric abstract painting series , in which vibrant primary color like vivid blue and red were revived. Since 1967 Park started series in which he indicated dramatic change in his style in painting. He transformed the idea from the act of drawing to the act of erasing, and as he developed the style he insisted the art theory of non-image(absent image) where 'I do not paint anything at all. Even any figure…' There was a visual record of the confrontation between the actions of the artist and material which was exploited, and the process of erasing of what it had been written. He provoked great sensation with the solo show in 1973 Gallery Matzmura in Tokyo, Japan. By the 1980s Park's search for the medium of the series moved to Korean traditional paper, Hanji. He commonly employed thick layered paper work on whose surface was scratched with pencil, and by doing so, the consequences of lump of Hanji paper and the pencil lines were covered across the canvas. Between 1982 and 1983 post- series in which still the tension between the action and material was quite dominant were consecutively presented in Korea and Japan. Some years later the show, in the middle of the 1980, his post- series were embodied the harmonious mingling with the free handful actions and the material, Hanji. It is noticed the lumps of wet Hanji made by the pressure of fingers, and the lines which are drawn using sharp instruments instead of the proceeding regular mechanic lines. We may say that the post- Ecriture period had been developed into the stage of meditation for self- discipline to concentrate on mind, and to the states of unification whereby artist's action gently absorbed into material, not by struggling. Moreover, the change in medium from oil paint to water color paint enable to apply more brilliant colors gradually so that a general sense of color was even brighter than in preceding period. During the solo show in 1988, he was interviewed by a journalist to state his stage of art that '… in 1989 I started to use Korean traditional paper, Hanji and water color paint compared with the previous work, the series mostly a repetitive drawing on canvas.' and then commented his work as a diary of his mind according to his mental condition. By the 1990s his style has developed into even more various ways: the work called 'Zigzag'; the way of subdivision of plate with Hanji; an arrangement of the unit of well ploughed field(that is a shape of paper furrow made by the pressure of the applied force); the combination of small furrows. Vibrant colors which had not been shown in the early were appeared in this period in which there were resulting colors which were an effects of water color soaking pigments to Hanji, or the base colors were allowed to expose by the force of pushing the paper around. When post- series were exhibited in a Retrospective, 40 Years Painting of Park Seo-Bo in 1991 at Korea National Museum of Contemporary Art, he commented about his idea on art that 'Myobob(Ecriture)' is a practice let the mind empty.' and furthermore, to achieve the sublimation in art I would hide rather than expressive an impulse. By the 2000 the extensive actions in painting were disappeared and then new style of paintings in which across the canvas very well ploughed furrows were offered. Even in the middle of the 1990, certainly, there were quite same style of work. I would like to say the distinctive quality of his recent works which associates with tidy furrows after picking weeds out in fields are a result of calculated manipulation, accurate management of composition. When you remind what Seo-Bo was spoken out about his view on art, 'practice painting is a self-discipline' in various cases, it may be necessary to arrive at the stage of his own logical consequences in painting, only if it is possible to understand all aspect of art by means of logic. Lim Chang-Sup, Chief Curator of Busan Museum of Art Litt. Dr.