South Korea

Posts tagged
with South Korea



Art

Delicate Paintings by Lee Me Kyeoung Detail the Small Convenience Stores Throughout South Korea

July 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Peach blossom store” (2020), acrylic ink pen on paper, 122 × 122 centimeters. All images © Lee Me Kyeoung, shared with permission

Peeking through peach blossoms or nestled into a snowy landscape, the tiny shops that Lee Me Kyeoung renders are found across South Korea, from Mokpo to Jeju and Seoul to Gapyeong. The artist already has spent decades speaking with the store owners and weaving their stories into her delicate paintings as part of her ongoing A Small Store series. Her most recent works encapsulate the experience of standing in front of the establishments by capturing every detail: the multicolored goods evenly stacked, advertisements posted in the windows, bikes parked out front, and the sloping tiled roofs.

Me Kyeoung’s work recently culminated in a book detailing the still-open locations for those interested in visiting the shops in person. The prolific artist also shares updates on future exhibitions, in addition to photographs of the original stores she visits, on Instagram.

 

“Jeongdeun store” (2020), acrylic ink pen on paper, 122 x 162 centimeters

“Korye store” (2019), acrylic ink pen on paper, 65 x 65 centimeters

“Woori store at Haenam” (2019), acrylic ink pen on paper, 56 x 115 centimeters

“Shingur store” (2019), acrylic ink pen on paper, 75 x 135 centimeters

“Store at Haman” (2019), acrylic ink pen on paper, 75 x 135 centimeters

“Sinheoung store” (2019), acrylic ink pen on paper, 49 x 86 centimeters

“Deayul store” (2019), acrylic ink pen on paper, 60 x 73 centimeters

“Chestnut tree valley store” (2020), acrylic ink pen on paper, 120 x 180 centimeters

 

 



Food Photography

The Breathless Grit and Determination of South Korea’s Iconic Female Divers Are Captured in Life-Size Portraits by Hyung S. Kim

July 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

Her Kyungsuk, Hamo Jeju (2014). All images © Hyung S. Kim, shared with permission

Between 2012 and 2014, Seoul-based photographer Hyung S. Kim frequently visited Jeju Island, which lies off the southern coast of South Korea, to document the impressive women carrying on a centuries-old practice. Named the haenyeo—which literally translates to ocean women—the iconic divers harvest shellfish and other sea life without oxygen, requiring that they hold their breath for up to three minutes while plunging 10 meters underwater. Today, many have surpassed age sixty: the youngest diver Kim photographed was 38 at the time, while the oldest was more than 90.

Captured just after they exited the water, Kim’s life-size portraits situate the women against a stark, white backdrop, which emphasizes their dirt-speckled shoes and wet, shining gear. Their equipment includes a tewak, the orange sphere slung over some of their shoulders, that floats at the surface during each dive and lead weights attached to their waists to hasten the descent.

“They are shown exactly as they are, tired and breathless. But, at the same time, they embody incredible mental and physical stamina, as the work itself is so dangerous; every day they cross the fine line between life and death,” Kim explained in an interview with The New Yorker immediately following the series’ release.” I wanted to capture this extreme duality of the women: their utmost strength combined with human fragility.”

In 2016, the haenyeo were added to the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage as the number of divers has dwindled from around 20,000 in the 1960s to just 2,500 in recent years. Although the work was male-dominated originally, it began to reflect the semi-matriarchal society of the Jeju by the 18th century and continues to be led by women today.

Explore the full collection of Kim’s portraits and see where the remarkable series will be exhibited next by following the photographer on Instagram. You also might enjoy Kimi Werner’s short film documenting her visit to Jeju Island.

 

Kim Julja, Dodu Jeju (2013)

Left: Hyun Okwoo, Onpyeong Jeju (2014). Right: Hyun Soonok, Hwasun Jeju (2013)

Hyun Okran, Onpyeong Jeju (2014)

Left: Kim Sanok, Hamo Jeju (2014). Right: Oh Bonghee, Hwasun Jeju (2013)

Lee Hwaju, Hamo Jeju (2014)

 

 



Art

Sculptural "Agreggations" by Kwang Young Chun Comprised of Thousands of Individually Wrapped Paper Parcels

April 4, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

South Korean artist Kwang Young Chun wraps tiny geometric packages in paper and combines them into massive wall-mounted and freestanding assemblages. Each composition is composed of thousands of individual mulberry paper parcels, carefully toned with tea and pigment and including the abstracted characters that allude to the paper’s origins as old documents. The works, which Chun refers to as ‘agreggations’, feature gradations in color and smooth craters within their highly textured surfaces.

Chun drew inspiration for his signature style from his illness-ridden childhood in Korea and the way that medicine was commonly packaged in triangular paper parcels of mulberry paper, or hanji. The artist was raised in Korea, lived in the United States in the 1960s while completed his M.F.A. at Philadelphia College of Art, and returned to his native country in adulthood.

In an artist statement on his website, Chun describes the disorientation he felt while a graduate student in America, tension and discord between the ways of his upbringing and the cultural modes of the U.S. This experience heightened his drive to express himself as a Korean artist, and in 1995 Chun landed on his current mode of making.

Six of the artist’s agreggations are on view in a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, through July 28, 2019. You can see more of his body of work on his website.

 

 



Design

Dine Inside a Pair of Grasshopper-Shaped Locomotives at a South Korean Cafe

March 28, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Grasshopper’s Dream is an insect-shaped cafe that sits along the popular Auraji rail bike route near Jeongseon, South Korea. The converted and stacked green train cars are placed near by the Gujeol-ri train station, and are each outfitted with protruding metal legs and thin antennae. Two other landmarks for bicyclists are also situated near the cafe — a pair of equally massive fish and another pair of grasshoppers that are far more cartoonish in appearance. At night, the insect-themed cafe is illuminated from below, presenting a great view of the dual bugs day or night. (via Design You Trust)

 

 

 



Photography

Ultraviolet Break of Day: A Midnight Walk Through the Neon-Hued Streets of Asian Cities by Marcus Wendt

August 11, 2017

Christopher Jobson

While on a recent trip through Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Seoul, London-based photographer Marcus Wendt found himself suffering from a bout of jetlag induced insomnia and ended up wandering the streets of several cities late at night. With a camera in-hand he captured these mesmerising shots that channel the cyberpunk vibe of movies like Bladerunner where narrow urban alleys are bathed in cool ultraviolet light. Over several days Wendt worked his way through the Kowloon area of Hong Kong and then Shenzhen’s Huaqiangbei area known for its sprawling electronics market, before eventually traveling to Seoul. You can see more from the project on his website. (via Colossal Submissions)

Seoul, South Korea

 

 



Art

Two Decades of South Korean Corner Store Paintings by Me Kyeoung Lee

March 20, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Me Kyeoung Lee has spent the last two decades documenting the tiny convenience stores and corner shops that dot the streets of South Korea. She paints the stores, which are now quickly disappearing, with a dedication to the small details that make each unique. Mismatched chairs can be seen lined up out front, while tall cherry blossom or persimmon trees shade the buildings’ entrances.

Me Kyeoung Lee draws each of her paintings with acrylic pens and chooses to sketch each at noon to avoid the hazy shadows cast by early mornings or late afternoons. You can see more of her documentation on her website. (via Booooooom, Creative Boom)