Dansaekhwa is a contemporary art movement that was born in Korea during the monochrome trend of the 1970s, becoming a part of the Korean modern art identity together with Minjung Art, also known as the People's Art. Dansaekhwa, characterised by its 'performative' nature, is created through repetitive actions and spirituality, keeping in line with an Eastern philosophy that emphasises spiritual practice and meditation. While the monochromatic paintings of the West focus on visual elements, Dansaekhwa focuses on the psychological or spiritual aspect of the artist. Dansaekhwa artists prioritise spirituality, refraining from the use of colour, suppressing the outburst of emotions, and creating their works through repetitive brushstrokes and other movements much like those used by spiritual practitioners.
Spirituality, action, and sense of touch are the core characteristics of Dansaekhwa. Dansaekhwa artists typically repeat tactile actions like stacking, dotting or ripping the paint, and through these actions they are able to achieve a high degree of spirituality. The three characteristics converge under the single concept of 'performance.' By repeating the act of drawing lines or dots on a canvas, artists end up constantly erasing their previous actions, and rather than depicting or expressing a specific form, the actions themselves become the art. This ultimately forms a connection between the art form and the Buddhist and Confucian practices that are foundational to Korea's traditional cultural heritage. The monotony and irregularities of Dansaekhwa lead the viewers to experience the philosophy of self-reflection and execution.
This exhibition presents the works of six Dansaekhwa masters all under one roof. Dansaekhwa, which began reclaiming the spotlight in Korea after the mid and late 2010s, is now drawing increased interest from the global art community. Not only are first-generation masters of the art form still active, but they are also laying the foundations for the emergence of second generation and even post-Dansaekhwa artists. By introducing the works of up-and-coming Dansaekhwa artists along with the orthodox works of first-generation masters, this exhibition invites artists and art lovers alike to consider the present and future of Dansaekhwa.
Through the exhibition, viewers will be able to take the time to meditate and explore their inner selves as they contemplate on the calm and pleasant Dansaekhwa works that are presented.
Press release courtesy SEOJUNG ART.
12 Bongeunsa-ro 47-gil