Experience Color and Its Enduring Role in Korean Art and Culture
San Diego, CA. (July 2023)– The San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) is pleased to announce the special exhibition Korea in Color: A Legacy of Auspicious Images, which sheds light on the use of color in Korean painting—known as polychrome painting (chaesaekhwa)—and its role in Korean culture. On view from October 28, 2023, through March 3, 2024, the exhibition will make its U.S. debut at The San Diego Museum of Art after traveling from the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon in South Korea (MMCA).
Exploring the continued influence of polychrome painting and its legacy of auspicious imagery, the exhibition will showcase contemporary works in dialogue with historical masterpieces. Fifty works of art from multiple lenders span a variety of media, including paintings, videos, and installations, many of which have never before been on view in the U.S.
Korea in Color invites visitors to encounter the role art once played in everyday Korean life across four themes: protection and warding off of evil spirits at the doorstep, including Sublimation, a video installation by Stone Johnston; symbols of abundance and longevity in the garden; scholarly objects and books in the study; and the appreciation of majestic mountains. This final section includes monumental contemporary landscapes, including the 40-foot Original Form 89117-On the Earth by Lee Jongsang, composed of 407 copper plates. The four exhibition sections are organized around core elements of traditional Korean painting: Byeoksa, protection against evil spirits; Gilsang, good fortune; Gyohun, edification; and Gamsang, appreciation.
“We are honored to be the first U.S. institution to host this thought-provoking and impactful exhibition celebrating Korean history and culture through auspicious images,” said Roxana Velásquez, Maruja Baldwin Executive Director and CEO at The San Diego Museum of Art. “Together with the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in South Korea and our partners at the Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles, we hope this exhibition brings a new perspective of Korean art that is not often represented in the Western art scene. This is also a continuation of the Museum’s long-held legacy and commitment to showcasing Asian art for our community.”
“We are pleased to present the exhibition Korea in Color: A Legacy of Auspicious Images to the audience in the United States,” said Park Jongdal, Acting Director at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea.
Sangwon Jung, Executive Director of the Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles, expressed, “We are deeply honored to co-present this meaningful art exhibition, commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the ROK-U.S. Alliance and the 120th year of Korean immigration to the United States. Through this exhibition, we aim to foster ongoing collaboration with SDMA and MMCA in order to showcase the allure and magnificence of Korean Art (K-Art).”
Korea in Color is selected and co-organized byThe San Diego Museum of Art, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, and the Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles, and is co-curated by Rachel Jans, Ph.D., Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at SDMA and Kihye Shin, Associate Curator at MMCA. Korea in Color will be complemented by a full-color catalogue and a variety of public programming, including a grand opening celebration and fundraiser called Art Party celebrating Korean culture, studio art workshops for all ages, and a free “On the Steps at SDMA” community event.
For more information on The San Diego Museum of Art and to purchase tickets, visit www.SDMArt.org.
About The San Diego Museum of Art
Providing a rich and diverse cultural experience, The San Diego Museum of Art houses some of the world’s finest art. Located in the heart of Balboa Park, the Museum’s internationally renowned collection of more than 32,000 works—dating from 3000 BC to present day—includes Spanish and Italian old masters, the Edwin Binney 3rd Collection of South Asian paintings, East Asian art, art from the Americas, Modern and Contemporary art, and the Museum of Photographic Arts at The San Diego Museum of Art (MOPA@SDMA). The Museum regularly features major exhibitions of art from around the world, as well as extensive cultural and community engagement programs for all ages. The San Diego Museum of Art hosts experiences that invite visitors to explore art through music, dance, film, food, and so much more. At The San Diego Museum of Art, exhibition text is always in English and Spanish.
The San Diego Museum of Art is located at 1450 El Prado in Balboa Park, San Diego, Calif., 92101. General Information, (619) 232-7931, Group Sales: (619) 696-1935, Website: http://www.SDMArt.org Twitter: @SDMA, Instagram: @SanDiegoMuseumofArt Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSanDiegoMuseumOfArt.