Moon jars reborn beautifully through traditional media

홍기인 기자l승인2019.01.14l수정2019.01.14 14:54

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▲ Sohn Chung-sook

Art historian Choi Soon-woo (deceased) once praised about white porcelain moon jars “One cannot say to have mastered the essence of Korean beauty without knowing the world of white light and indeterminate form of circle.” What would feel like to see these white porcelain moon jars on the canvas? <Power Korea> looked into the works of artist Sohn Jung-sook.

Gypsophila and moon jars
Sohn is best known as a gypsophila artist. The flower appears in her works reminds the vitality of pleasantly simple woman. She says “My mother liked the flower very much. It keeps vivid color and abundance even after it gets dried and it is an agreeable object to draw since I like still life very much.” 

The flowers in her works attract the eyes of viewers to the center composition-wise and the white and the background purplish color create harmony and grace; the flower basket, on the other hand, creates a vintage feel that might have been a trend in the late Joseon period. 

The gypsophila in Sohn’s works symbolizes joy and sadness, happiness and unhappiness, passion and silence, hope and despair and love and hatred. Sohn says that the flower is like a heart pocket. “Gypsophila goes well with any flower. It is mysterious and graceful and feels good when blue is added. It takes some time to paint as I have to dot the flower one by one but the finish of oil painting gives a great satisfaction.”

Recently, she fell in love with moon jars. In her two exhibitions themed on moon jars, she named the works moonlight sonata, imagery of heart, cheongdam, freedom, time and communion. 

The occasion Sohn started to paint moon jars is this: One day, the Gowolhun Gallery curator Kim Tae-hyung happened to visit Sohn’s solo exhibition and got surprised by the jar with gypsophila on canvas. Kim asked Sohn to be an in-house artist of Gowolhun Gallery specialized in moon jars. 

Moon jars are a good example of Korean sentiment and beauty and many of them have indeterminate shapes depending on the creator. Some say they are sophisticated and others say they are oriental. Sohn got hold of valuable data about moon jars, studied thoroughly and made them reborn onto the canvas. 

Spreading the value and the beauty of moon jars
Sohn has been invited to Gallery Dooin in 2000, Ami Gallery in 2006, Mayjune Gallery in 2009 and Art Seoul from 2003 and 2011. She also joined group exhibitions in LA, US, in 1996, Korea-China-Japan Exchange Exhibition in 1998, 100 Exhibition in Sydney, Australia, in 2005, LA Art Show Convention Center in 2011, and LA Western Gallery. 

The gypsophila works were sold out in almost all exhibitions she joined and 15 works of moon jars including 3 large works were displayed at an exhibition in Insa-dong in May; the works attracted a great attention at the Art Figuratif at Hangaram Arts Center Museum in October. The coming exhibition is scheduled at Gowolhun Gallery in April 2019. 

“Looking at moon jars, I feel breathing and comfortable. If gypsophila delivers an inspiration and message, moon jars does breathing and spirit.”

The French culture critic Guy Sorman said “Korean moon jars are not found anywhere else. They are a crystal of Korean beauty and technique. I would point out moon jars if someone asks me about an image of Korean brand.”

In this respect, Sohn expresses well about the characteristics of Korean moon jars: solidity, purity, light and restrained. 

   
▲ 교감 162.2X112.1cm. Oil on canvas 2018

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