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Press Release

Opening Reception: Thursday 5 September 2019 | 6 - 8 PM

“To change the invisible into the visible—what happens in a state of enlightenment or nirvana—shows me what [could] be found simultaneously.”

– Suh Seung-Won

Tina Kim Gallery is pleased to present its first solo exhibition of Suh Seung-Won (b. 1941), an artist who has played a leading role in the advent and evolution of modernism in Korea. One of the founding members of the “Origin” group, Suh is also celebrated for his major contribution to the formation of the A.G. (Korean Avant-Garde Association) and the ongoing development of Dansaekhwa. On view from September 5 through October 12, 2019, the exhibition focuses on two bodies of work from key periods in Suh’s early career: his “development” period in the 1960s and the “analytical” period, spanning the 1970s through the 1980s.

For over 50 years, Suh Seung-Won has consistently pursued a theory he terms “Simultaneity,” in which the artist seeks to distill his compositions to their most reductive state, while still maintaining a harmonious balance of form, color and space. The artist came of age in the context of post-war Korea, where there was uneven access to information about international movements such as Art Informel and Abstract Expressionism. It was in this dynamic environment that Suh sought to pioneer his own unique approach to geometric abstraction by synthesizing traditional formal vocabularies found in Korean culture such as the architecture of hanok (a traditional Korean home), and its characteristic use of changhoji (paper window partitions) to designate space.

Having received an MFA degree from Hong-Ik University’s acclaimed painting department, Suh Seung-Won made his debut on the Korean art scene as one of the founding members of the Origin group in the early 1960s. Shortly after, Suh became heavily involved in the A.G. collective (Korean Avant-Garde Association) founded in 1969, initially led by the Dansaekhwa master Ha Chong-Hyun. It was this fertile intersection of western abstraction and eastern philosophy that gave rise to Dansaekhwa and Suh, having adopted this conceptual synthesis, pushed it further, maintaining a commitment to gestural exploration and formal experimentation that has consistently defined his practice. While Suh invented his own vocabulary of geometric abstraction and expanded his color palette, he remained committed to the power of neutral tones, especially the color white that underlies Dansaekhwa and is rooted in both Korean hanji paper and porcelain; this underlying approach to balancing form and color can be seen in works such as Simultaneity 69-1 (1969) and Simultaneity 70-19 (1970). Evident in these paintings is the artist’s ongoing interest in creating a field in which three-dimensional forms and linear planes appear to float in the middle of the canvas, using perspective to create a psychologically charged space.

As a young artist, Suh was invited to participate in the seminal 1975 exhibition, “Korea: Five Artists, Five Hinsek – White,” at the Tokyo Gallery in Japan. A major international event in the history of Korean modernism, Suh exhibited works alongside Park Seo-Bo, Kwon Young-Woo, Hur Hwang, and Lee Dong-Youb. The show aimed at highlighting the way in which contemporary Korean artists had adopted monochrome practices, as well as strategies of repetition and material plasticity, and how these processes informed what would later be called Dansaekhwa.

The 1970s and the 1980s were a critical period in the artist’s evolution as Suh began to refine his own formal vocabulary, pushing the limits of the perspectival environments he had been exploring and expanding the way he depicted three-dimensional space within a two-dimensional plane. In this more “analytical” work, his canvases consist of taught compositions that are suspended between depth and surface, aesthetics and phenomenology. These themes can be seen to striking affect in Simultaneity 77-36 (1977), where the artist has created a complex series of intersecting geometric spaces that hold the viewer’s mind in balance as they seem to hover and unfold on the canvas.

In some ways this pursuit of spatial harmony mirrors personal influences on the artist such as the elements found in changhoji, the paper windows that lend a cool glow to Korean interiors. In this light, “Simultaneity” can be seen as referring to Suh’s ability to render the canvas as a flat-planed object and somehow also a window into the viewer’s consciousness. In the artist’s own words, “My aesthetic roots are planted in Korean traditional culture and its spirit, and I have strived to give a modern interpretation, which is expressed through the spirit of Simultaneity.”

By presenting a range of Suh’s early works, the exhibition at Tina Kim Gallery highlights a period of intensive experimentation for the artist, illustrating the formal rigor and personal evolution that underlies his ideas. The exhibition establishes the importance of Suh’s practice in Korean art history as well as within a wider international discourse.

 

ABOUT SUH SEUNG-WON

Suh Seung-Won was born in Seoul in 1941 and graduated from Hong-Ik University with an MFA in painting. Having spent his university years in the aftermath of the 4.19 Revolution, he helped found the Origin Group and became a member of A.G. (Korean Avant-Garde Association). He has participated in major international exhibitions, such as the inaugural exhibition of the Korean Avant-Garde Association (1969), the 6th Paris Biennale (1969), the 11th São Paulo Biennale (1971), Korea: Five Artists, Five Hinsek – White (Tokyo, 1975), The Contemporary Korean Art (Tokyo, 1977), and Korean Contemporary Art: Unique Artistic Movement in the late 70s (Japan, 1983). Suh recently held a solo exhibition at the Korea Society in New York in collaboration with Donghwa Cultural Foundation.

His works are in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; Gwangju Art Museum; Sapporo Contemporary Art Museum, Japan; Simoneski Metropolitan Museum of Art, Japan; The British Museum; and the Brooklyn Museum, New York among many others.

 

Artist CV

SUH SEUNG-WON

1941                Born in Seoul, Korea

1974 - 2007     Professor in Painting at Hong-Ik University, Seoul, Korea

1970                MFA in Painting, Graduate School of Hong-Ik University, Seoul, Korea

1964                BFA in Painting, Hong-Ik University, Seoul, Korea

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

 

2019

Suh Seung-Won | Early Works: 1960s to 1980s, Tina Kim Gallery, New York, USA

Suh Seung Won: Simultaneity, The Korea Society, New York, USA

 

2018

Suh Seung-Won | A Half Century of Endeavor and Serenity: Works from 1967 to 2018, Arario Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

2017

Rho Gallery, Seoul, Korea

Gallery Tomura, Tokyo, Japan

 

2016   

Gallery Shilla, Daegu, Korea

Art Beatus Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

 

2007   

GANA Art Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

2005   

Art Beatus Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

 

2002   

Gallery Rho, Seoul, Korea

 

2000   

Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

 

1999

Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

 

1990   

Sun Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

1985

Daido Gallery, Sapporo, Japan

 

1984

Muramatsu Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Centro Documentazioni Arti Visive / Archivio / Rosamilia, Italy

 

1983

Gallery Scope L.A., Los Angeles, USA

Five Towers Micro Hall Center, Augustfehn, Germany

 

1982

Fine Art Center, Seoul, Korea

 

1977

Fine Art Center, Seoul, Korea 

 

1976

Moon Wha Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

1972

Muramatsu Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

 

1970

Press Center Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

 

2019

桥DAAM: The Korean Contemporary Art Exhibition, Whitestone Gallery, Hong Kong

 

2018

Korea - Five Artists Five Hinsek <White>, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

 

2017

Looking into Korean Art, Part 2: Dansaekhwa, Museum SAN, Wonju, Korea

Rhyme in Monochrome: Korean Abstract Painting, Tokyo Opera City Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

 

2016

Origin, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France

DANSAEKHWA, PIASA, Paris, France

 

2015

KIAF 2015, Coex Hall, Seoul, Korea

LA Art Show, LA Convention Center, LA, USA

CONTEXT Art Miami, Art Miami Pavilion, Miami, USA

La Plenitud de la Nada / Empty Fullness, Traveling Korean Arts, Centro Cultural Colectiva, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

2014

SAN Museum Invitation Exhibition, SAN Museum, Wonju, Korea

Busan Biennale 2014, Special Exhibition, Busan Art Hall, Busan, Korea

 

2013

70’s Renaissance Painting, Eve Gallery, Seoul, Korea

SMAF-Seoul Contemporary Festival, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea

 

2012

Dansaekhwa: Korean Monochrome Painting, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea

Seongnam International Art Fair, Seongnam Arts Center, Seongnam, Korea

 

2011

Diversity in Form and Thought - Recent Works of Korean Artists, Beijing Art Gallery of Imperial City, Beijing, China 

Monochrome Art, Gongan Purple, Paju, Korea

Qingdao Contemporary Art Fair, Qingdao International Convention Center, Qingdao, China

Daegu Art Museum - Opening Invitation Exhibition, Daegu Art Museum, Daegu, Korea

 

2010

Korean Avant-Garde Drawing: 30 Years Exhibition, Seoul Olympic Museum of Art (SOMA), Seoul, Korea

Korea-Hong Kong Modern Art Fair, Hong Kong Art Center, Hong Kong

 

2009

UAE-KAF Korea Art Festival, Dubai World Trade Center / Abu Dhabi National Theater Museum, UAE

The Color of Nature: Monochrome Art in Korea, Wellside Gallery, Shanghai, China

 

2008

China Beijing 798 Art Festival (In Commemoration of Beijing Olympics 2008), Beijing 798 Art Zone, China

 

2007

Korea-Japan Exhibition of Modern Art, Fukuoka Asia Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

Korea-China Exhibition of International Modern Art, Beijing 798 Art Zone, Beijing, China

 

2006

Reduction and Expansion of Contemporary Art: Origin Painting Association, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea

Art Interchange - The Exchange Exhibition of Korea and Australia Art College, Museum of Contemporary Art, Hong-Ik University, Seoul, Korea

Diversity in Form and Thought - Recent Works of Korean Artists, Beijing Art Gallery of Imperial City, Beijing, China

 

2005

Osaka International Art Festival 2005, Asia and Pacific Trade Center, Osaka, Japan

 

2004

KIAF 2004, COEX Hall, Seoul, Korea

Seoul Contemporary Art Exhibition in Roma, House of Association of Architects of Rome, Roma, Italy

Gongju International Art Festival, Lim Lim Museum, Gonju, Korea

Asia International Art Exhibition 2004, The Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Japan

 

2003

Drawing, Its New Horizons, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea

Art Today JAPAN “The 8th Nippon International Contemporary Art Festival 2003,” Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo, Japan

Asia Print Adventure, The Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Japan

The International Art Exhibition 2003, Hokkaido Asai Gakuen University, Sapporo, Japan

 

2002

Korean Contemporary Art from the Mid-1970s to the Mid-1980s: Age of Philosophy and Aesthetics Understanding of Abstract Art, Sungkok Museum, Seoul, Korea

 

2001

Korean Contemporary Art Festival: “Korean Arts Towards the World in 21st Centuries,” Seoul Arts Center, Seoul, Korea

The Critical Rediscovery for the 60-70s Art Movement: Another Perspective for Korean Contemporary Art’s Contemporaneity, Hanwon Gallery, Seoul, Korea

Exhibition of Korean Contemporary Art - Journey to Memory, Palais Palffy Gallery, Paris, France

Exhibition of Foundation, Perspectives, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

 

2000

The 3rd Gwangju Biennale, Biennale Museum of Gwangju, Gwangju, Korea

Plane as Spirits, Busan Municipal Museum of Art, Busan, Korea

The Evolution and Transformation of Korean Prints, Daejeon Museum of Art, Daejeon, Korea

Y2K International Exhibition and Symposium of Prints, National Taiwan Arts Education Institute, Taiwan

 

1999

The 1st Korea Art Festival - Dream of City, Solo Exhibition of 27 Person, Seoul Municipal Museum, Seoul, Korea

 

1998

ASIAN PRINT ADVENTURE, The Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Hokkaido, Japan

 

1997

Visual Point and Groping of ‘97 Korean Art, Sang Gallery, Seoul, Korea

Entasis of Korean Art (Commemoratory Exhibition of the Opening of Dong-Deuk Art Gallery), Dong-Deuk Art Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

1996

Korean Monochrome in the 1970s, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

Exhibition of Cultural Pearl, Seoul Municipal Museum, Seoul, Korea

 

1995

Art Contemporain Coreen, Couvent des Cordeliers, Paris, France

FACT ’95 Living Art Exhibition, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea

An Encounter of Cement and Art (Commemoratory Exhibition of the Opening of Seong-Gok Art Museum), Seong-Gok Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

 

1994

NICAF YOKOHAMA ’94 (The 3rd International Contemporary Art Fair, Japan), Tokyo & Jean Art Gallery, Yokohama, Japan 

Print Works ’94 Asahigawa, Hokkaido Asahigawa Museum, Hokkaido, Japan

 

1993

Korean Contemporary Art: Passion and Challenge of the Period, Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea

The Forty Years of Korean Contemporary Prints, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Kwacheon, Korea

12 Contemporary Artists from Korea, The Miyagi Museum of Art, Sendai, Japan

 

1992

Exhibition of Korean Contemporary Art, Simonoseki Museum, Japan

 

1991

Exhibition of Contemporary Prints NAGOYA-’91 Member’s Work Today, Izican Museum, Nagoya, Japan

Korean Graphic Art, Now, Gallery Tivoli, Ljubjana

 

1990

Korean Contemporary Paintings, Ho-Am Museum, Yongin, Korea

The 10th Exhibition of Japan-Korea Contemporary Art Exhibition 1990, Fukuoka Museum, Fukuoaka, Japan

Print Adventure ‘90, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Hokkaido, Japan

 

1989

Sapporo - Seoul Art Show, Dokei-dai Gallery, Sapporo, Japan

The USA-KOREA Prints ‘89 Exchange Exhibition, Los Angeles, Seoul, Paris

Exhibition of Korean Contemporary Painting, Taipei Museum, Taipei, China

Korean Modern Painting in the 1970s, Walker Hill Art Center, Seoul, Korea

 

1988

The 8th Exhibition of Japan-Korea Contemporary Painting, Fukuoka Metropolitan Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

Aspect of Korean Contemporary Art, Central Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

 

1987

The 7th Exhibition of Korea - Japan Contemporary Painting, Fine Art Center, Seoul, Korea

 

1986

Inaugural Exhibition of National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art - The Past and Present of Korean Contemporary Art Today, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea

The 6th Exhibition of Japan-Korea Contemporary Painting, Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

Contemporary Prints in Japan-Korea, Simonoeski Metropolitan Museum of Art, Simonoeski, Japan

Today & Yesterday: Korean Traditional Art & Korean Contemporary Art “Exhibition of Paper Work,” Kyoto, Japan

 

1985

Paper Works by Contemporary Korean Artists, Sarah Spurgeon Gallery, Central Washington University, Washington D.C., USA

Exhibition of Korean Painting 70 Years, Ho-Am Art Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

1984

Sapporo Triennale, Sapporo, Japan

Human Documents ‘84/’85, Tokyo Gallery, Japan

Korean Contemporary Art in the 1970s, Taipei Metropolitan Museum, Taipei, China

 

1983

Korean Contemporary Art: Unique Artistic Movement in the late 70s, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, National Museum of Art, Osaka, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Utsunomiya Museum of Art, Utsunomiya, Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

 

1982-83

Contemporary Paper Works “Korea & Japan,” Seoul, Korea, and Tokyo, Japan

 

1982

Invited Exhibition of Contemporary Artists, Moklim Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

1981

Korea Drawing Now, The Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA

 

1980

International Impact of Art Festival ‘80, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Exhibition Marking the Fukuoka Art Museum’s First Anniversary, Asian Artists Exhibition Part II, Festival: Contemporary Asian Art Show, Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

 

1979

Contemporary Korean Art, Museum of New Zealand, Walton, New Zealand

Korean Contemporary 10 Prints Exhibition, ADI Gallery, San Francisco, USA

The 11th International Biennale Exhibition of Prints in Tokyo, Tokyo Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Osaka, Japan

 

1978

Seoul International Prints Exchange Exhibition, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea

20 Years of Contemporary Korean Art, Seoul, Korea

Korea-China: Exchange Contemporary Art, National Museum of History, Taipei, China

 

1977

The 4th India Triennale, India

Korean Commissioner of the 9th Cagnes International Painting Festival, Cagnes, France

The Contemporary Korean Art, Tokyo Central Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan

 

1976

The 8th Cagnes International Painting Festival, Cagnes, France

Exhibition of Invited Contemporary 8 Artists, Seoul Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

1975-99

Ecole de Seoul, Seoul, Korea

 

1975

Korea: Five Artists Five Hinsek ‘Whites,’ Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Contemporary Art Festival in Seoul, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea

International Exchange Exhibition of Prints, Pasadena, California, USA

Exhibition of Korean Contemporary Prints, Buffalo Gallery, New York, USA

 

1974

Seoul Biennale, Hosted by A.G., National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea

 

1973

Seoul Biennale, Hosted by A.G., National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea

Korean Contemporary Art 1957-1972: Plastic and Anti-Plastic, Myungdong Gallery, Seoul, Korea

I.S.P.A.A. Kobe Exhibition, Kobe, Japan

Exhibition of Seoul - 13 Artists’ Contemporary Art, Gallery Signum, Kyoto, Japan

 

1972-79

Independents, National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, Korea

 

1972

The 2nd International Biennale of Prints in Seoul, Dong-A Press Group, Seoul, Korea

Venice Graphic Art, Venice Ca’Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art, Venice, Italy

 

1971

The 11th São Paulo Biennale, São Paulo, Brazil

A.G.: Reality and Realization, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea

 

1970

The 1st Korean Art GRAND-PRIX Exhibition, Han-Guk Press Group, Seoul, Korea

A.G: The Mechanics of Phenomenon and Restoration, Korean Information Center, Seoul, Korea

 

1969

The 1st International Triennale Exhibition of Prints in Italy, Carpi, Italy

The 6th Paris Biennale, Paris, France

The 5th International Young Artist Festivals in Japan, Japan Cultural Forum, Tokyo, Japan

Exhibition of 11 Korean Young Artists, Solidaridad Gallery, Manila, Philippines

 

1968

The 6th International Biennale Exhibition of Prints, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan

Invited Exhibition of Korean Contemporary Artist, Hosted by Chosun Ilbo Group, Seoul, Korea

 

1968-2015

Contemporary Korean Prints Association, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea 

 

1967

The Korean Young Artists Association Exhibition, Korean Information Center, Seoul, Korea

 

1963-2005

Paintings by the ORIGIN Association, Arts Council Korea, Seoul, Korea

 

AWARDS

 

2013

Grand Prix of Oh Jiho Artist, Gwangju City Hall, Gwangju, Korea

 

2001

Grand Prix of Misulsegae, Misulsegae Company, Seoul, Korea

 

1978

Grand Prix Exhibition of Korean Art, Most Excellent Prize, Han-Guk Press Group National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, Korea

 

1976

Grand Prix of the 1st Young Artist, Moon Hwa Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

1971

Grand Prix of Exhibition of Contemporary Print, Grand Prix, Myong-Dong Gallery, Seoul, Korea

 

1963

Invited Exhibition of Korean Contemporary Artists, Grand Prix, Chosun Press Group, National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, Korea

 

1962

Invited Exhibition of Korean Contemporary Artists, Special Prize, Chosun Press Group, National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, Korea

Exhibition of The 1st to 3rd Shin Sang Group, Special Prize, Shin Sang Group, National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, Korea

 

MUSEUM COLLECTIONS

 

National Contemporary Art Museum, Kwacheon, Korea

The British Museum, London, England

The Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA

Sapporo Contemporary Art Museum, Sapporo, Japan

Simoneski Metropolitan Museum of Art, Simoneski, Japan

Mie Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan

Saendayi Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

Seoul Municipal Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

Gwangju Art Museum, Gwangju, Korea

Daegu Museum, Daigu, Korea

Hongik University Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea

Sunje Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyungju, Korea

Walkerhill Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

Hoam Art Gallery, Seoul, Korea

War Memorial of Korea, Seoul, Korea

Museum SAN, Wonju, Korea

Alive Jincheon Print Making Museum, Jincheon, Kores

 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

 

The 3rd Government Office Building, Daejeon, Korea

Government Office Building, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Seoul, Korea

Courthouse in Incheon, Incheon, Korea

Ansan City Hall, Ansan, Korea

Construction Center, Seoul, Korea

Samsung Condominium, Yangpyeong, Korea

Incheon District Public Prosecutors’ Office, Incheon,Korea

Woori Bank, Seoul, Korea

KT Corporation, Seoul, Korea

The Intercontinental Hotel, Seoul, Korea

 

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