Rhythm in Monochrome | Korean Abstract Painting


Korean abstract painting was established as a uniquely Korean expression reflecting an Asian spirit as Korean artists absorbed techniques and other information from Western artists of the period. Particularly notable is Dansaekhwa (monochrome painting), which came to prominence in the 1970s and displayed a rich development characterised by extremely pared down, minimal beauty and intricate rhythms. The artists involved in furthering its development were actively exhibited in Japan as well as in their own country of South Korea, thereby fostering a flourishing interchange between the art scenes of the two countries from the 1970s to the 1990s. More recently, a major Dansaekhwa exhibition at Venice in 2015 and other exposure at the global level inspired rapid re-evaluation and led to a growing appreciation of the movement.
Korean abstract painting is currently enjoying a worldwide boom, but Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery has held a significant number of works since it’s opening in 1999, representing perhaps the largest collection in Japan and acting as one of the core themes of the Terada Collection. Based on that collection, and with the help of other museums and collectors, this exhibition attempts a comprehensive presentation of Korean abstract painting.
These works demonstrate the serenity and sophistication acquired through the artists' search for a unique Korean identity while remaining receptive to Western culture. They seem to pose the simple but deep question of what artistic expression means. Their monochrome canvases resound with quiet rhythms that hone our senses and draw us into a rich visual experience.


KIM Whanki1913 - 1974
QUAC In-Sik1919 - 1988
LEE Se-Duk1921 - 2001
KWON Young-Woo1926 - 2013
CHUNG Chang-Sup1927 - 2011
YUN Hyong-Keun1928 - 2007
SUH Se-Ok1929 -
PARK Seo-Bo1931 -
CHUNG Sang-Hwa1932 -
HA Chong-Hyun1935 -
LEE U-Fan1936 -
CHOI Myoung-Young1941 -
SUH Seung-Won1941 -
LEE Chung-Ji1943 -
LEE Kang-So1943 -
KIM Tae-Ho1948 -
CHOI Eun-Kyoung1958 -
LEE In-Hyeon1958 -
YOON Hee-Chang1963 -