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Korean Art

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Cho Yong-Ik: Jumhwa and Wave Paintings

This exhibition at HK Art and Antiques showcases over 10 paintings from the last decade by Cho Yong-Ik (born 1934), a major Korean painter. After a period of inactivity, Cho has returned to the themes that occupied him during the 1970s and 1980s. These Jumhwa, dot paintings, and wave paintings are examples of the trends that preoccupied the Dansaekhwa, or Korean monochrome painting movement, during the early period of Korean modern art. The Jumhwa and wave paintings consist of solid monochromatic fields interrupted by regular, repetitive marks. In the case of the Jumhwa, these marks are dots or wedges scraped from the monochromatic surface with either a finger or a painter’s knife, then overpainted and defaced again. The motifs in the wave paintings continue the theme of repetition and erasure, but are often continuous across the monochrome surface and bear the clear signs of brushwork. The artist has compared the wave motifs to breathing, likening the dynamism of the waves to the cycles of respiration.