Sookja Ji, served as Deputy Organizer of the 2nd Seoul Art Fair Organizing Committee

지윤석 기자l승인2023.10.20l수정2023.10.20 14:02






▲ Artist Sookja Ji

An art fair is an event where a number of galleries or artists come together to sell artwork. It has the effect of revitalizing the functioning of the art market and is an event where galleries or artists can exchange information on recent trends in art and get the opportunity to promote sales. In recent years, art fairs have deepened their function as an art event that spreads art to the public beyond simply promoting sales, and each art fair has its own characteristics and is held around the world. Korea has been working to revitalize art fairs by supporting participation in international art fairs since March 1999. Meanwhile, the Seoul Art Fair, held last summer, is receiving high praise. Artist Unhyang Sookja Ji, who served as Deputy Organizer of the 2nd Seoul Art Fair Organizing Committee, shared her thoughts. 


Seoul Art Fair aims for a multi-genre festival

The Seoul Art Fair, now in its second year, is an art fair that combines artistry and popularity, sponsored by the Federation of Artists & Cultural Organization of Korea, Korea Fine Arts Association, Korea Youth Arts Association, and others, and organized by the Seoul Art Fair Organizing Committee, Platform 702, a cultural and social cooperative, and Monthly Art/Art Event. Ji said “The Seoul Art Fair is creating a new paradigm in a situation where art is becoming a direct object of investment beyond appreciation through the effect of increasing economic value in the art field. Art fairs are not just about marketing, they are a culture of nationality that includes our thoughts, our stories, our joys, and our pain. The role of Seoul Art Fair, which aims to be a festival of various genres, is very important as there are more accessible distribution channels than high threshold auctions. In particular, I was impressed to be the only one of the 400 booths at the Seoul Art Fair to showcase the field of literary painting.

I am currently running a calligraphy research organization and devoting myself to postgraduate education. The reason why I am doing this is because I want all citizens to participate in brush painting, and I hope that emotions, sensitivity, humanity, and caring will shed new light on the national character. I see 2023 as a time when the need of the hour will manifest itself, when countries around the world will start to find a focus for their national spirit to lead the way. I hope there will be more events like the Seoul Art Fair where artists and organizations from various fields can come together.”


Vibrant nature depicted in one stroke brush work

Following the Seoul Art Fair, Ji participated in an invitational exhibition at Geum Bosung Art Center and a solo exhibition at Maru Art Center in Insadong. Her subject matter is more unusual. It is of a hermit crab frolicking in what appears to be a tidal pool. She said she started storytelling because she wanted to showcase the unique features of her art with more vibrant crab drawings, while also joining the movement to save the ocean’s tidal flats. Based on a vibrant painting of a hermit crab, this elderly artist’s work is beautiful, with different colors appearing year after year. In particular, the hermit crab’s appearance is brought to life by a brush technique called one stroke brush work and a characterization that utilizes ink to enhance the beauty of the margins. In addition, Ji’s vivid representation of nature, which is always present in our daily lives, has a distinctive freshness and brightness. Her work is increasingly colorful, with all the characteristics that only a literary painting can boast. “I still think that in literary painting, the essence of sincerity should be revealed in a variety of subjects, whether it’s a painting of sea crabs, plum blossoms, or flowers. I will continue to be active as a literary artist.”

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