Seojung Art: 'Apricity'

5 - 20 April

SEOJUNG ART is delighted to announce Apricity, a group exhibition featuring Seong Joon Hong (b. 1987), Hong Soun (b. 1959), Sunyoung Hwang (b. 1988), and Chounhwan Lee (b. 1956). Four artists, who begin by acknowledging nature as integral to their surroundings and craft their own environments, gather and deconstruct new narratives of nature through their visual languages.

Apricity presents a contemporary sense of naturalism through four Korean artists who recognise their surroundings and capture their environment in a new landscape. East Asian art, including Korean, began to be introduced abroad in the mid-to-late 1980s, marking the end of the ideological Cold War. The 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, a global festival involving both political powers, serves as a notable example, referenced in various fields and disciplines. Interestingly, the visual art from South Korea introduced during this period often depicted naturalism, particularly of the East.  While the concept of naturalism applies to the West as well, in the East, paintings featuring natural subjects hold special significance due to their deep historical roots. During this time, nature served as the primary means to express an individual's nobility, deeply entrenched in the ideological backdrop of coming of age. Until very recently, we battled an invisible adversary, 'pandemic', grappling with questions about nature. We transitioned from a fierce conflict, which left many mental and physical scars, to a quieter struggle. It's undeniable that this war had an impact on humanity's life. Hence, it's imperative to evoke naturalism from a contemporary standpoint. Various discourses, such as 'Anthropocene,' 'Capitalocene,' and 'sustainability,' are currently under active discussion.

What is naturalism from a contemporary perspective? Clues lie in the notion that, as the anthropologist Philippe Descola mentioned, we often underestimate nature as a concept devoid of subjectivity. His argument stems from our tendency to objectify nature while simultaneously claiming to utilise and protect it effortlessly. In essence, from a contemporary viewpoint, nature possesses subjectivity akin to ours, and its significance expands to coexist with both the visible and invisible elements shaping our environment.

Hong Soun, Pocheon. june 7. 2023., 2023, Oil on canvas, 145.5 x 224.5 cm.
Hong Soun, Pocheon. june 7. 2023., 2023, Oil on canvas, 145.5 x 224.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist and SEOJUNG ART.