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Posts Tagged ‘modernism’

Lee Ufan-dedicated museum opens on Japanese island – The Japan Times

Posted by artradar on August 25, 2010


JAPANESE KOREAN ARTIST MUSEUM OPENINGS MODERNISM

An article by The Japan Times covers the opening of a brand new art museum in Japan dedicated to the Korean-born artist Lee Ufan. The article features an extensive interview in which the artist reminisces on his youth in a Japanese-occupied Korea and his early years as an artist in Japan.

Located on the island of Naoshima in the Seto Inland Sea, the Lee Ufan Museum is part of the Benesse Art Site, which has been listed as one of Japan’s must-see tourist destinations. In the article, Lee explains why the museum is unconventionally half underground:

Lee Ufan's painting 'From Line (1974) is on display at the newly-created Lee Ufan Museum in Japan.

Lee Ufan's painting 'From Line (1974) is on display at the newly-created Lee Ufan Museum in Japan.

For some people, it won’t look like a museum. Some people might think it’s a mosque, or a grave. That’s fine. I wanted it to feel far removed from everyday life.

The article also discusses Lee’s unique role in the Japanese art scene. Being both a resident of Japan and an outsider, due to his status as a Korean-born Japanese artist, he has interesting insights into the history of Japan and Korea and the art scene in Japan.

His aesthetic style consists mostly of simple constructions and has often been compared to Asian philosophy by Western critics. He says that he is indebted to the Western Modernist tradition for his simple style more than the traditional Asian aesthetic. Despite being influenced by Modernist art, he asks viewers to find a deeper meaning in the process of looking at art:

These days, when we think of art, we immediately think of it being something that you look at. But it is actually only in the Modern period that this act of looking has been given such emphasis. Before then, there was more to it: myths, religion, social issues. People would know these stories and they would read them into the art. In other words, the act of appreciating art was completed in the mind.

One way in which he is thoroughly Asian, he says, is his belief in the strong connection between individuals and the universe, a concept which he explores in his paintings:

After all, Asia has a monsoon climate, so there is a lot of rain. There’s always things rotting and new life sprouting and, in the past, this gave rise to strong tendencies toward animistic beliefs. Asians are more likely to see themselves as living with nature, with the rest of the universe.

The museum will hold many of Lee Ufan’s canvases and sculptures, created since he began his artistic career in the 1970s.

Read the full article here.

MM/KN

Related Topics: museums, Korean artists, Japanese artists, Japanese venues

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Liu Kuo-sung London retrospective inspires potential British Museum collection

Posted by artradar on May 26, 2010


As reported by various Taiwanese media outlets, the British Museum has recently expressed interest in collecting works by Chinese/Taiwanese modernist Liu Kuo-sung.

This interest follows a well-received mini-retrospective of 25 of the artist’s paintings at London’s Goedhuis Contemporary. The museum is reported to be interested in acquiring two paintings: Rising Sun, a colour painting from 2008, and Sun and Moon: Floating? Sinking? from 1970.

Liu Kuo-sung, Midnight Sun, 2005, ink and colour on paper, on five panels

Liu Kuo-sung, Midnight Sun, 2005, ink and colour on paper, on five panels

Liu Kuo-sung is known as one of the founders of the New Ink Painting movement. Curator Michael Goedhuis explained that “Liu was the first ethnic Chinese artist in the late fifties to study Western art diligently. He spent forty years to create a new artistic language by importing Western artistic concepts into classical Chinese culture.”

Liu Kuo-sung Heaven Lake 1982 ink on paper

Liu Kuo-sung, Heaven Lake, 1982, ink on paper

The artist was born in China but moved to Taiwan in 1949, where he studied fine art at the National Taiwan Normal University. Early on, Liu experimented with abstract oil paintings before developing a unique work practice in the mid-1960s in which he applies ink and colour on special paper. His work is represented in 52 museums and art collections around the world.

KN

Related Topics: Taiwanese artists, Chinese artists, museum collectors, ink painting

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