Jeju Museum of Art under Jeju Special Self-governing Province will hold an exhibition titled “Hong Jong-myeong: Manifestation of the Internal” in its Special Exhibition Room 1 until April 27. This exhibition will select the works of Hong Jong-myeong from the 1950s to the 1990s and display them alongside archived materials. (Inquiries: Jeju Museum of Art, 064-710-4274)
Hong Jong-myeong was born in Pyongyang in 1922 and studied abroad at the Teikoku Art School (帝國美術學校, present-day Musashino Art University) in Japan. During the January 4 retreat of 1951 during the Korean War, Hong fled from Seoul to Busan, then to Jeju. With the help of a benefactor, he was able to open a small studio named “Misulsa” during his time as a refugee in Jeju, and taught students at Oyun Middle and High School as an art teacher. His key artwork during this period include “Self-portrait” (1953) and “Sarabong of Jeju” (1953).
▲ Self-portrait Images courtesy of Jeju Museum of Art
In the spring of 1954, he ended his time in Jeju as a refugee and returned to Seoul to work as an art teacher at Bosung Girls’ Middle and High School followed by Daegwang Middle and High School. He was first accepted for the 6th National Art Exhibition of the Republic of Korea (hereinafter the “National Art Exhibition”) in 1957 and subsequently achieved special selection in 1965, the Minister of Education Award in 1966, and consecutive special selections in 1967 and 1968. Hong also established his own unique artistic domain by continuously creating art through organizations such as Gusang Jeon, Chang Jak Fine Art Association and Christian Art Association.
▲ Sarabong Peak Images courtesy of Jeju Museum of Art
Hong Jong-myeong is an artist who was known for traversing between the abstract and figurative aspects of Korean modern art. His paintings capture imaginary locations such as paradise lost and places that have been lost forever by displaced peoples such as Nakrang and old hills. Hong is praised for having taken inspiration from tradition in line with demands of the times that pursued uniquely Korean aspects.
▲ The Black Sun and Fish Images courtesy of Jeju Museum of Art
In addition, the exhibition will demonstrate Hong’s prowess as an educator by displaying 12 works of art by his Jeju-based pupils, Kang Tae-seok (1938-1976), Kim Taek-hwa (1940-2006) and Hyeon Seung-buk (1933-2011) and his Seoul-based pupil Kim Yong-cheol (1949-present).
Director Lee Na-yeon of Jeju Museum of Art commented, “The 52 pieces of art showcased through this exhibition aptly embody the artistic world and legacy of master artist Hong Jong-myeong, who tirelessly experimented in Korean figurative art,” and added, “We hope that the 22 works of art donated by the family of the late master artist Hong will contribute towards vitalizing and spreading the culture of donation to secure the artistic resources of Jeju.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.net)
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