2008.03.08  -제203호- 
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Gwanghwamoon International Art Festival

Anyone who remembers the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea remembers the red wave of fans cheering the Korean team to victory at Gwanghwamoon. Indeed, Gwanghwa-moon acts as a unifying center for Koreans, in heart and mind, and now it is getting ready to become the center of the international art world. The Gwanghwamoon International Art Festival (GIAF) will be held from March 19 to April 1 in the main art building of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, by Gallery Guide and the Beijing 0808 Art Space. Over 120 works from artists around the world including Korea will be on display.

The exhibit is divided into four; theme, charity, seminar and special exhibit. The main theme is “Gate,” with works by modern artists. The exhibit is a great opportunity to view the works of talented artists at a very reasonable price. A part of the proceeds from the ticket price will go to charity. In addition, the seminar portion will enable discussions on art and the art world among artists from across the globe. And, a special exhibit will be held from May 7 to 16 in Beijing at the GuanYinTang Art Street in commemoration of the Beijing Olympic Games this year.


Sound-Between Coincidence and
Inevitability / Jeon Jun
Seeking the True Nature of Life

GIAF is an event based on “exchange” : between the general public and the art world, Korean and foreign artists, works of the new and older generations, and the modern art worlds of Korea and Beijing. GIAF hopes to grow to become the representative art festival of Asia, and hopes this year’s festival will be a stepping stone to achieving just that.

Kim Seop’s work, “The Lost Time,” will be on exhibit at the Gwanghwamoon International Art Festival. Kim is an art professor at the University of Ulsan and was a visiting professor at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in Canada in 2005. He also won the Korean Artist of the Year Award in 2000. His work confronts the human condition on every inch of the canvas, where random dialogues invade the space. It also exudes a strong sense of underlying humor and satire, though this at first may not be easy to grasp.
The Lost Time - One Day / Kim Seop


In particular, Kim’s images convey a satirical portrait of the social condition through dialogues, with mixed feelings of affection, prejudice, temptation, and conceit. While his works contain the amusements of everyday conversation, they also have a disheartening or tragic existentialist mood.

The forms against the background mostly observe human nature from afar, while the background is rather introspective, showing personal reflection and expression. Speculation on the true nature of life seems to be the point, here.


Soundfroma Lump

“Sound is sculpture” is the main theme of a series of works created by Jun Jeon. One of these works, “Sound-Between Coincidence and Inevitability,” will be on display at the Gwanghwamoon International Art Festival in March. Jun is a professor in the Department of Plastic Art at Seoul National University. When he was only in his 20s, he was awarded Korea’s New Arts Prize.

He was also given an achievement award at the 24th National Art Competition sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Public Affairs in 1975. He has pursued the theme of “sound” in his work since the 1970s. His geometric forms show art as exploration of the mind, not just as beauty.


ParadiseMomenton the Canvas

Dream - Garden of Love / Choi Yong-ran
Dreamy, warm, women, sweet moments and happiness. These would be words to describe the works of the artist Choi Yong Ran. A graduate of Hongik University in Western painting, Choi’s works have been shown all around the world, with the most recent being the New York Art Expo last year. Choi’s “Dream - Garden of Love” and others of her works will also be on display at the Gwanghwamoon International Art Festival in March. Choi says she wants her work to evoke a sense of happiness in the viewer - creating a moment of paradise. There is no heavy philosophy underlying her work; the feeling of pleasure they invoke is enough.

By Lee Su-ji
BusinessKorea writer