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Making sense of the abstract

By Deng Zhangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-28 08:16

Making sense of the abstract

The Kukje gallery in Seoul has taken its collection of dansaekhwa to art fairs around the world, such as the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Dansaekhwa, a genre of monochromatic paintings from South Korea, will make its Chinese mainland debut this fall.

The show in Shanghai, featuring more than 70 works by different artists, including the elderly, is expected to draw collectors and lovers of art who share cultural similarities with Korean people. The artworks are largely abstract paintings, with emphases on materials and process, made since the mid-1970s.

Lee Hyun-sook, founder of the Kukje gallery in Seoul, says the exhibition will show works of more than 10 representative artists, both alive and deceased.

Her gallery will borrow the paintings from private collectors and museums in South Korea.

The relatively low-profile art form has been displayed in Western galleries, catching their attention only in the past few years.

Ha Chong-hyun says he didn't think he would see dansaekhwa get international appreciation during his lifetime. The 82-year-old artist, whose works will be on show in Shanghai, is known for painting on the reverse side of burlap. His works have been collected by New York's Guggenheim Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.

Ha, speaking in his studio in suburban Seoul, says: "People around me keep reminding me not to work this hard. But I want to paint every day since I have limited time left."

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