CMay Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of works by Seoul-based artist Lim Ok Sang. This is the artist’s solo debut in Los Angeles and his first exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition will run from October 5 to November 9, 2017 with the opening reception held on Thursday, October 5, 2017 from 5:30-9:30pm at CMay Gallery’s Pacific Design Center location.
One of the leading artists of the Minjung art movement, Lim has critically engaged “the people” in his work. Minjung – translated as “common people” or “the masses” – movement emerged in the 1980s in correspondence with protests against military rule in South Korea in the 1980s. Aiming to fill the gap between Art and the general public, Lim renounced styles derivative of Western models and practices of the 1960-70s and used folklore traditions to bring art to “the people.”
The political situation has changed since the 1980s, however Lim continues to produce work that engages folklore, the people, and politics of the current time. Depicting portraits of past presidents and current political leaders, this series is particularly timely with current South Korean and American politics and the rise of North Korea tensions. A quick lesson on the history of the presidency in South Korea might help viewers decode the harrowing narratives and biting symbolism embedded in Lim Ok Sang’s epic large-scale paintings. But even without knowing all the players in contemporary Korean politics, his evocative and visceral style gets the message across clearly. His rich textures, saturated palette, operatic billboard-like scale, and forced perspectives mirror history painting as a genre to create something both timeless and specific. As a most prominent key figure in political resistance, Lim still actively participates in protests and rallies and continues to stay culturally relevant in the on-going public dialogue of South Korea's political landscape and beyond.
Lim Ok Sang was born in Buyeo County, South Korea in 1950, graduated from École d'art d'Angoulême in Angoulême, France, and holds a BFA and MFA from Seoul National University. He currently lives and works in Seoul, Korea. His work is featured in the collection of prominent institutions such as the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, Seoul Museum of Art, Leeum Art Museum, Busan Museum of Art, Gwangju Biennale, and the Total Museum of Contemporary Art.
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