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Art and Culture1 Updated: 2012-11-30 00:00:00 KST

Art and Culture1
It's finally Friday and our Michelle Kim is here for our final arts and culture segment of the week. And today, she has an exhibition preview and a movie update for us.

Hello Michelle

[Reporter : ] Hello Han-ul

So what will you start us off with[Reporter : ] Today, I'll tell you about the new exhibition by artist Kim Jung-wook. I had an opportunity to sit down with her earlier this week and talk with her about her work. Take a look at this to see images from both the exhibition and the interview.

Somber figures with huge round eyes, plump cheeks and small features line the walls of Gallery Skape, where the works of artist Kim Jung-wook are currently on display.
The figures are sometimes alone, sometimes in groups of twos or threes, but almost all of them gaze out at the viewer, seemingly expressionless.
The effect is haunting, even eerie.
Painted in shades of gray, the works were created with ink on hanji, which is a traditional Korean paper made from mulberry bark.
Kim explains why she decided to use these two very simple materials to create her art.

[Interview : Kim Jung-wook, Artist] "I majored in Oriental painting so the materials were very familiar to me. I also thought that ink and hanji were very good items to use to express the spiritual and the essential because they can be used in such a variety of ways."

The exhibition is called "Things that Shine," which may be an odd title for such dusky works, but Kim is known for expressing beauty, comfort, sadness and joy through works that may seem dark at first glance.
She explained that the works in this collection are no different.

[Interview : Kim Jung-wook, Artist] "The exhibition is called 'Things That Shine' because I wanted to express the things that shine in our lives, which are mostly things that are important to us. So through my paintings I wanted to share the things that shine in our lives to offer help to those who need comfort."

The figures in the paintings seem wounded and in need of comfort, yet upon closer examination they also exhibit a depth of emotion that's unexpected.
In fact, Kim is known for paintings that portray the crucial moment when a person expresses emotion.
The longer you look at the figures in these paintings, the more human they become, morphing into any number of people.
That's because Kim didn't put restrictions on her creations.
Instead, she wants viewers to create an identity for the being on the canvas themselves.

[Interview : Kim Jung-wook, Artist] "These figures don't have a specific gender or identity. It's a woman, a man, an old person and a child. I'd like the figures to identified more as human beings, and I'd maybe even go further to say that they portray nature and other things as well."

In some ways, the figures in the paintings are a reflection of the viewer, something the artist hopes will be of some comfort to those who see them.
Kim Jung-wook's exhibition will be showing at Gallery Skape in the Gahoe neighborhood of central Seoul until January 11th.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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