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Making It New: Perspectives on Korean Heritage in Art image

Making It New: Perspectives on Korean Heritage in Art

Making It New: Perspectives on Korean Heritage in Art explores the modernization and reinterpretation of traditional Korean motifs, designs, and sentiments within a contemporary artistic framework. Featuring 30 evocative painting, sculpture, and installation works by four distinct women artists (Donghee Goh, Han Sol Lee, Hey Sun Lee, and Jungwon Ko), Making It New reflects on  the importance of traditional culture that exists deep within Korean lives and minds today. These four artists present their unique, creative attempt to find where the traditional and the contemporary coexist in our modern world. 

Making It New: Perspectives on Korean Heritage in Art

WHAT: Art exhibition, artist talk, & public opening reception

WHODonghee Goh, Han Sol Lee, Hey Sun Lee, and Jungwon Ko


Opening Reception: Friday, March 3 at 6:00 p.m. 

On View: March 3 -27, 2017 (open M-F, 9am-noon & 1:30-5:30pm)

WHERE: Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. (2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW)


RSVP: Scroll down, or CLICK HERE


About the Artists 

Donghee Goh seeks to recreate Korea’s representative traditional patterns in unique and modern ways within the theme of gyul (meaning grain, as in the texture of wood). The phoenix, crane, beast, fish, bird, and butterfly in her work are symbols of ancestral hopes and desires. These iconic images are reinterpreted in the modern context in a contrasting black and white palette through abstract compositions.

Donghee Goh | Gyul - Ceramic, 116.8x 91.0cm, oil on canvas, 2013

Donghee Goh | Gyul -Ilwalobongbyeong 2, 90.9 x 72.7cm, oil on canvas, 2015

Han Sol Lee bases her works on personal experience as a contemporary person in conflict with her cultural identity. She examines the process of rediscovering her identity during her time studying abroad in France, and her portrayal of a clash between contrasting cultures through drawings of paradoxical scenes creates an unexpected,moody harmony of West and East.


Han Sol Lee | Des Séries de la connaissance de soi (self awareness), 76 x 121cm, 2017

Han Sol Lee | The different... but sameprint, 27.94 x 35.56cm,2016

Hey Sun Lee works under the assumption that, for people, all things from the past still have value and continue to exist in the present space despite changing times. This view gives new meaning to things we might otherwise easily pass over, by finding their figurative use in one’s life. She imbues traditional Korean objects such as multicolored silk, rice bowls, and wooden door gratings with new aesthetic value. Each object, embodying both past and present, is placed with a contemporary approach to help shape her artistic space.

Hey Sun Lee | Space There, Variable size, acrylic on stainless bowls, 2016

Hey Sun Lee | Space Longing, 36x 36 x 10cm, fabric, wood, acrylic on stainless bowls, 2017

Jungwon Ko begins her work with traditional Korean dance, which embodies the joy, anger, sadness, and excitement of life. She believes that Korean dance served to transform the common people’s daily toil and sadness into an explosion of joy, and she fills the canvas with this philosophy using the traditionally Western medium of oil painting. The restrained lines and internal breath that characterize Korean dance and the elegant colors and silhouette of the traditional Hanbok dress take on a lively expression through Ko’s meticulous method.

Jungwon Ko | A day of flowers blossom,65.1 x 90.9cm, oil on canvas, 2009

Jungwon Ko  | A day of flowers blossom65.1 x 90.9cm, oil on canvas, 2009