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CultureCampus Review
‘Doogeun Doogeun’, Where You Can Find New In The Old
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While a ‘Picasso Exhibition’ or a ‘Van Gogh Exhibition’ may sound pretty familiar to most people, an exhibition by Korean painters might sound somewhat more unique. It is ironic how exhibitions by foreign painters feel more familiar to us than those by Korean painters, but this is reality. However, Korean paintings are still loved by many people and they are showing their passion toward Korean paintings. The students at the Department of Korean Painting at Chung-Ang University are one example of such. CAH visited the exhibition held by graduates from the Department of Korean Painting, who are getting ready to take their next steps towards becoming Korean painters.
Department of Korean Painting
Aside from a mere expression of art, the Department of Korean Painting at CAU aims to yield creative artists who can lead the cultural future of our society, based on the traditional spirit of Korea. The Department of Korean Painting not only focuses on developing practical techniques, but strives to cultivate global artists through a theoreticalapproach as well. What is special about the Department of Korean Painting at Chung-Ang University is that apart from developing technical skills, it also puts weight on drawing individual students’ sensibilities and abilities through discussions and seminars. With such training, students at the Department of Korean Painting are getting closer to their dreams.
What is Korean Painting?
Prior to taking a closer look at the exhibition ‘Doogeun Doogeun’, you might want to know more about Korean painting. The dictionary definition of Korean painting is ‘a painting using traditional technique and style of Korea’. Many people get easily confused between Korean painting and Oriental painting. This is because Korean paintings were once called Oriental paintings at the time of the Japanese Colonial Era, which was later revised to its original name of ‘Korean painting’. Aside from jus referring to traditional Korean paintings, the meaning of Korean Painting has now been extended to recognition of tradition and identity of Korea.
Meet Pre-Korean Painters
Hosted by Gyeomjae Jeongseon Memorial Museum and sponsored by Gangseo-gu, the ‘Doogeun Doogeun’ exhibition invites young painters studying at colleges of fine arts from four universities. From the Department of Korean Painting at CAU, three professors and thirteen graduates have joined the exhibition. Now, let us discuss the exhibition itself in more detail.
Feel the beauty of Korean Paintings
Unlike its title ‘Doogeun Doogeun’, ‘Pounding of the heart’, the exhibition is being held in a calm atmosphere with relaxing music. Although the scale of the exhibition was not that big, it helped to enjoy the exhibition in a relaxing atmosphere.. The first thing that came to mind as soon as CAH entered the exhibition was “Is this really an exhibition of Korean paintings?” Generally, people recall images of black ink on white paper when they think of Korean paintings. Yet, the Korean paintings that we encountered at ‘Doogeun Doogeun’ broke those perceptions completely. Colorful expression that are every bit as good as children’s books, materials that are diverse yet somewhat stimulating and elements that were considered far from Korean Paintings were welcoming CAH.
Enjoying the calm atmosphere, we took a closer look at the paintings. If we could sum up the exhibition in on word, it would be ‘fusion’. Much like how the Bulgogi Burger was born from combining Korean Bulgogi with the American hamburger, Korean painting looks to have had a rebirth in a more global style. To tell you the truth, many people these days tend to keep a distance from Korean paintings, perhaps they consider Korean paintings to be somewhat heavy and difficult to understand. However, as the world is changing, so does Korea. The paintings encountered at ‘Doogeun Doogeun’ showed the Korea of the 21st century, rather than the past, with wonderful elegance and creativity.
Into the Exhibition
Although the exhibition is over, its impressions still remain with CAH. Let’s share some of the work CAH had come across at ‘Doogeun Doogeun’.
<SALE 2, Yoo Ji-sun>
Korean painting and Barbie dolls. Who could possibly have imagined a combination of the two? It was a work that has completely broke the assumptions that CAH had about Korean paintings. Its colorful expressions coupled with the image of the American Barbie doll were like an introduction to a brand-new paradigim of Korean art. The image of the Barbie and humans in reverse of situation-human in doll box and Barbie standing in front of it-gave a mysterious feeling as well.
<Rainbow, Son Hyeon-gi>
Unlike what can be percieved from the name ‘Rainbow’, the work gave us a somewhat grotesque feeling. The dark images-skeletons, an undefinable creature and a blurry figure that reminds of voodo dolls-make audiences wonder about the relationship between the title of the painting and what is in it. Drawn using black ink, it gives the impression of an illustration.
<Multiview, Jo Un-a>
 This is a work expressing the multiview of Chung-Ang University’s campus. Oriental yet impressionistic, the painting’s use of diverse colors is eye-catching. Delicate details, like how the Blue Dragon sculpture holds a pen and brushes or the figure of Dr. Yim Young-shin that can be found at the back of the building, add fun to the painting.
 
The Exhibition ‘Doogeun Doogeun’ was impressive enough for Korean painting to attract more attention from the public too. It is ironic that although we have lived in Korea and will live in Korea, it is true that we haven’t had many chances to learn more about the beauty of Korean painting. Having found a new aspect of Korea within Korea at ‘Doogeun Doogeun’, CAH found it to be a truly memorable exhibition. As graduates from the Department of Korean Painting took their first steps as pre-Korean painters at this exhibition, CAH too, took our first steps to increasing our knowledge of the subject. We suggest you do too.
 
[Exhibition Information]
Date: 2014.2.26~2014.3.9
Place: Gyeomjae Jeongseon Memorial Museum
 
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