south korea's track record in contemporary art isn't one that's well known beyond its borders, yet the country has seen noteworthy developments that still stand their ground in this day and age. a current exhibition at galerie perrotin, one of the leading modern art venues in paris, sheds lights on a movement from the early 1960s which helped to lay the foundation of the the country's modern art scene. aptly entitled origin, named after the eponymous group of artists, it traces back the footprints of the original founding members: choi myoung-young, suh seung-won, and lee seung-jio. the accomplished trio was born in the early 1940s and they've witnessed the japanese occupation, the korean war, and the april revolution.
these three events hugely influenced south korean society, and not surprisingly, also the principles and identity of the origin movement. although the exhibition exclusively presents works by the illustrious trio, it aims to demonstrate how south korean artists who are rooted in tradition, confronted and overcame the ever-changing contemporary issues of their era. each of the artists emphasizes asceticism through repetitive actions, such as layering, spraying, or markings, but they also clearly have a style of their own. choi myoung-young demonstrates the expandability of space and, assuming that the canvas is a small universe, hee feels obliged to make countless contact with it by using his fingers.
for suh seung-won, it's all about geometry, creating large sections of overlapping of diamond shapes in various colours, solid lines, and box-shaped structures. the style of lee seung-jio is largely composed of elongated rectangles that resemble of cold metallic matter. by repeatedly applying brush strokes, the artist painted horizontal, vertical or diagonal strips that were darker towards the border and lighter towards the center, essentially creating the appearance of a three-dimensional cylinder. at a later stage in his career, lee began to cross light and shade in blue or black hues and blur the clear borderlines [on through feb 27]. location: 76 rue de turenne [marais].