Gallery Hyundai presents Promenade, a solo exhibition of painter Yoo Geun-Taek(b. 1965) who has been pioneering a new era in Korean art history by applying contemporary style and subject on traditional Korean painting methods of using ink on Hanji, the Korean traditional paper. The current exhibition includes works produced during the artist’s stay in Berlin in 2015 and recent works completed in 2017. The exhibition presents a number of series including Some Library series which depicts scenery of a library multilayered with images; Take a Stroll series which came from the artist’s daily strolls around his neighborhood; and The Room series which shows indoor scenery with mosquito nets hanging over a bed. The overall theme of the exhibition is ‘promenade,’ which alludes to the artist’s intent of organizing the exhibition as a space in which the viewer can stroll through the works while reflecting on himself, his surroundings and the time that has passed.
Since his first solo exhibition in 1991, Yoo Geun-Taek has been showing the potential of new Korean painting and became a key figure of a new wave within the Korean art scene. To familiarize the ideational traditional Korean painting, Yoo focused on the concept of ‘everyday life’. For the artist, everyday life exists beyond a series of trivial moments, but it narrates the ‘reality’ that gradually become less significant in today’s fast-changing society—in fact, it is a story about the burden hidden behind the unwavering everyday life. By putting forth the theme of ‘everyday life’, Yoo attempts to reflect on the world we live in today, not the ideological space that the traditional Korean painting has long been held on to. Further, while Yoo’s experimental aspects are apparent in his use of non-traditional materials such as white powder, tempera, and iron brush to express the thick texture, the artist does not let go of the essential element of Korean painting — introspection on the nature of things by embodying the spirituality of ‘ink’, time and space within a painting.
Born in Asan, Korea in 1965, Yoo Geun-Taek received B.F.A and M.F.A from the Department of Oriental Painting at Hongik University. At the age of 38, Yoo was appointed as the Professor of Oriental painting at Sungshin Women’s University and continues to teach at the university to this day. Beginning with his first solo exhibition at Kwanhoon Gallery in 1991, Yoo had solo exhibitions at Savina Museum of Contemporary Art in 2004, OCI Museum of Art in 2014, Tama Art University Museum in 2016. The current exhibition is Yoo’s second solo exhibition at Gallery Hyundai in 5 years. Yoo’s works are collected by various art institutions including Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, Seoul Museum of Art, Gyeonggi Museum of Art, and Busan Museum of Art, among others.