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Korea's largest retrospective of modern painter Park Soo-keun kicks off Updated: 2014-01-17 22:10:30 KST

  Korea's largest retrospective of modern painter Park Soo-keun kicks off

This is one of the most famous masterpieces by the late modern painter Park Soo-keun.
Its depiction of Korean women squatting over a stream, doing their laundry shows the painter's compassion for humanity and ordinary people who live humble lives.
This signature feature of Park's paintings is also evident in his work "The Old and the Young."
In fact, Park was known for his depictions of ordinary people doing simple tasks and his works convey something of the beauty of everyday life.
Park Soo-keun was born in 1914, and taught himself to paint as a teenager.
He died at the age of 52 in 1965, having never seen fame in his lifetime.
Park struggled with poverty all his life and lived through the most turbulent period in modern Korean history, spanning the period from Japan's colonial rule of the peninsula to the Korean War.
His paintings are portraits of a modern Korea in development by an unpretentious observer.
The eldest son of the late painter, Park Sung-nam, remembers the time his father drew a portrait of him when he was four in 1952.


"This is a portrait of me that my father drew over a period of five hours. I think the picture symbolizes father-son relations in the sorrowful period after the Korean War, during which many families were separated."

The elder Park captured people at the market, street vendors, and old trees that symbolized endurance and hope in hard times.


"Park Soo-keun's works have subdued granite colors and they mostly show our humble neighbors, like the old, women or playful children. Although his works are from a half century ago, these people feel as familiar as if there were our neighbors today."

The exhibition is the largest retrospective of Park Soo-keun ever held in Korea, and displays about 120 of the painter's works.
The exhibition continues until mid-March at Gana Insa Art Center in central Seoul.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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