10 Korean Artists You Should Know

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Korean art has been booming for several decades. Thanks to the economic boom in the country, Korean artists were able to go international and make themselves known around the world. Let’s discover 10 Korean artists you should know.

Wook-kyung Choi

Wook-kyung Choi, Untilted, 1960

An abstract painter, Wook-kyung Choi is an outcast in the history of modern Korean art. The bright representative of Korean contemporary art is mainly influenced by expressionism. She seeks to immerse herself in the moment and create true, pure, expressive forms. As such, she plays a key role in the variety of Korean abstract art.

Lee Bul

Lee Bul, Artoilet II, 1990

Lee Bul (1964-) is one of the main figures in Korean contemporary art. Through her performance, she questions her body image. The artist also challenges stereotypes about Asian women. Her work is often disturbing, but always very beautiful and poetic.

Seo-Bo Park

Park Seo-Bo, Writing No. 26-75attacking, 1975

Seo-Bo Park  is one of the best known Korean artists. This representative of Korean abstract art symbolizes the monochrome Dansaekhwa movement. He is very close to minimalist artists, choosing neutral tones to highlight components and fabrics.

Choi Xooang

Choi Xooang, Eolgul, 2016

Choi Xooang created a galaxy of almost mutant characters. They express strong human emotions such as fear, desire or pain. With his painted resin characters Choi Xooang made a great contribution in Hyperreal Korean Art.

Bae Bien-U

Bae Bien-U, SNM5A-034H, 2014

An iconic Korean photographer represents nature with strong contrasts and very structured lines. His works are celebrated and exhibited around the world. His photographs are real  artistic heritage because they are typically Korean, with an almost meditative preoccupation for the link between man and nature.

Lee Bae

Lee Bae, Untitled, 2020

The Korean abstract artist explores the almost infinite possibilities of black. Until recently, he mainly used charred materials to paint his canvases. In such a way he offered a powerful metaphor for the cycle of life.

Haegue Yang

Haegue Yang, When the Year 2000 Comes, 2019

The representative of the new generation of Korean art explores myths and stories, that touch on the universal. Haegue Yang notably represented Korea at the Venice Biennale in 2009 and participated to the prestigious dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel in 2012. Her works flirt with conceptual art. Her artistic expression is in sculptures, installations, performances, and video.

Song Hyun-Sook

Song Hyun-Sook, 3 Brustrokes, 2017

This Korean painter weaves links between Korean art and Western art. She uses tempera, a typically European oil painting technique. And at the same time her art expresses that almost meditative state of concentration that exists in the art of calligraphy.

Lee Ufan

Lee Ufan, Exhibition view, 2020

Lee Ufan is one of the worldwide known Korean artists. His paintings depict the mark of a brush whose color fades. He also creates performances, sculptures and installations, which always question a certain “state of being”. Among his favorite subjects, there is observing the intimate, conflicting or poetic relationship between natural and artificial elements.

Nam June Paik

The undoubtedly the most famous Korean artist in the world is considered the founder of video art in the early 1960s. He questions our relationship to technology and information through installations of TV screens. He also participates in the birth of Fluxus, a movement that mixes music, performance, plastic art and writing. It is hard to overestimate his contribution to the artistic heritage of Korea.

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