ARARIO Beijing is pleased to announce the solo exhibition of the Contemporary Korean master, Park, Seo-Bo. The exhibition is scheduled to open on September 22nd and will run through to November 18th, 2007. For over half a century, Park Seo-Bo is well-known for his consistent position at the forefront of Korean contemporary art and his passionate pursuit of its development. This exhibition features an extensive collection of Park’s works from 1970’s, including his hand-drawn sketches and black and white Ecriture series from 1980’s, as well as his recent color paintings mainly created after 2000.
Park Seo-Bo began his artistic journey in 1956 and contributed to the development of abstract art in Korea after the war. He formed the Korea Modern Artists Association in 1957 to challenge the existing standards of aesthetic practices and theories of academic art thus greatly influencing his contemporaries. His interest in the modern European concept of art guided his own work without clear form, a source of free expression, which was the origin of the informale style of the post-war developments in Korean abstract art. During the 1960s and 1970s, his works from the Protoplasm and Genoplasm series in the informale style embodied an existential approach where he created an individual language questioning the consciousness of time and existence. In the 1980s it was his Ecriture (Secret Methods) series, that formalized the monochromatic style that Park is known for today. Ecriture is “écrit” in French meaning “to write”. The Ecriture series features a study of lines upon a monochrome background. The minimalist plane is interrupted by valleys created by countless lines drawn in pencil emphasizing the repeated action of hand. The textured valleys carved by pencil reach their completion through the act of repetition, a process through which the artist empties himself.
This work is performed upon traditional Korean paper which itself releases its own life energy through the repeated processes of boiling and drying. As the texture on the paper created by line, his work has more dramatically revealed the intersection of the act of drawing and the material that is being drawn upon. Through this act of repetition, Park manifests his distinctive process of continually renewing and emptying oneself.
“Art in the 21st Century digital age is no longer about bombarding the audience with the artist’s own personality thrown all over the canvas. Art today must be the kind that is capable of curing the stresses and pains experienced by the modern man,” states Park Seo-Bo. His recent bright colored canvases are brightly absorbing providing the viewer with a quiet visual space of respite upon an endless picture plane. The healing power of Park’s works is described by art critic and professor of Melbourne University of Australia, Nikos Papastergiadis:
“I recall the moment I walked out of the forest and into a clearing. For hours I had been surrounded by massive gum trees and high bushes, not sure of whether I was lost or just making slow progress. The hum of anxiety was whirring in my chest when suddenly I sighed at the sight of an open field. The respite was instant.”
Arario Beijing’s retrospective of Park Seo-Bo presents half-century long artistic philosophy of communication and healing in art. Park Seo-Bo’s monochromatic works are expressions of emptying oneself and endless absorptions. They represent the present and future of 21st century painting and are sure to present a comforting and mesmerizing experience to the audience.
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