June 22, 2020 - Busan Museum of Art - Art in Busan in the 1960s and ‘70s
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June 22, 2020

Busan Museum of Art

Art in Busan in the 1960s and ‘70s: A Beginning without an End. Courtesy Busan Museum of Art, Korea.

Art in Busan in the 1960s and ‘70s
A Beginning without an End
May 15–September 8, 2020

Busan Museum of Art
58, APEC-ro
48060 Haeundae-gu, Busan
Republic of Korea
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm,
Friday–Saturday 10am–9pm

T +82 51 744 2602

art.busan.go.kr
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The Busan Museum of Art presents Art in Busan in the 1960s and '70s: A Beginning without an End. The museum has recently been focused on organizing exhibitions to examine and provide space to the art history of the city, starting with Busan as the Wartime Capital - A Blooming Flower out of Despair (2018). The current exhibition is the second rendition of the series and focuses on the art scene in Busan during the 1960s and ’70s.

The 1960s and ’70s in South Korea was a period of rapid social change. It was also a period in which the art scene reflected the changing society through new artistic expressions. Art in Busan in the 1960s and ’70s was populated with diverse visual languages as the velocity of societal changes accelerated. While being located within the general context of Korean art, art in Busan pushed forth with its own efforts to establish its independent characteristics. Artists in Busan moved away from figurative depictions and representations, attempting bold experiments and changes by tirelessly challenging the existing artistic language in order to establish a new tone for the new era.

Art in Busan in the 1960s and '70s: A Beginning without an End presents the many different strains of artistic activities in the city during the period, ranging from the transition from the figurative to the abstract, and attempts to capture Korean artistic qualities of employing geometrical language ranging from passionate abstract expressions to Dansaekhwa (Korean monochrome), which strived to materialize "Koreanness" as an attitude and spirit beyond an artistic format. In addition, the exhibition will highlight artists who plotted against socially disengaged modernist art by finding connections between everyday objects and the world of art. Lastly, the exhibition investigates hyperrealism as an attempt to convey reality and actuality on the canvas through a new visuality in the footsteps of Dansaekhwa in order to challenge preexisting artistic concepts. While art in Busan in the 1960s and ’70s largely overlaps with Korean art during the same period, Busan artists and their work offers a window into the particular artistic characteristics of the region.

In preparation for the exhibition, the Busan Museum of Art conducted a series of research reports on artists that were active in Busan in the 1960s and ‘70s. As a result, a number of interviews with artists were recorded for the exhibition. The museum also discovered many masterful artwork pieces, which have previously not been presented in public. (Artist: Kang Sunbo, Kang Hongyun, Kwon Dalsul, Kim Dongkyu, Kim Susuk, Kim Won, Kim Wonkap, Kim Inhwan, Kim Jungmyoung, Kim Jonggun, Kim Jongsik, Kim Chungjung, Kim Haesung, Kim Hongkyu, Kim Hongseuk, Noh Woongkoo, Ryu Moosoo, Park Chunjai, Suh Sanghwan, Seo Jaeman, Sung Paikjoo, Song Hyesoo, Yang Chullmo, Oh Youngjae, Woo Heungchan, Lee Sungjae, Lee Soo (Lee Jungsoo), Lee Yongkil, Jun Joonja, Jo Chelsou, Choi Aja, Choo Yenkeun, Hur Hwang, Hwang Kyeyong)

In particular, the exhibition will introduce Kim Hongseuk for the first time in a museum exhibition. Working on Dansaekhwa paintings that employed repetitive actions using the materiality of thread on the canvas, Kim was one of the many active artists during the period. However, he disappeared into the lost pages of history after his early death. With a special section dedicated to highlighting his ingenious and excellent work, the exhibition provides a space to enrich the contextual understanding of Dansaekhwa, a major subject of debate in contemporary Korean art.

While Korean art history has been written mostly through the perspective of the art scene of Seoul, the capital of the country, the Busan Museum of Art has been investing efforts to locate art in Busan within the context of Korea art history. As part of such efforts, Art in Busan in the 1960s and '70s: A Beginning without an End highlights the characteristics and significance of art in Busan, enriching and diversifying the context of Korean art history. 

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