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Art collectors, senior artists favor nude, figure and landscape works of Artist LeeWorld of Artist Lee Byong-Hun

Lee Byong-hun is considered a fairly well established artist in Korea covering portraits, figures (especially nude), landscapes and still life. Among them, Lee is known to have covered portrait paintings and nude more than the landscape and still life paintings.

Artist Lee Byong-Hun (right) interviewed by Publisher Lee Kyung- sik of The Korea Post at his studio in Seoull

How is the status of an artist rated?

Normally, one would try to see his educational background, how many solo (private) and group exhibitions he has had and what kind of and how many awards he has won.

Artist Lee fairly well meets all of the above, but there is one very special aspect to him. He is highly rated among the fellow artists, and is accorded a high recognition especially from the noted senior artists in Korea. The famed artists buy the works of Lee.

A little girl in Hanbok with railbow sleaves, 61X41cm, oil on canvas, 2010.

The typical case in point was at Artist Lee’s recent private exhibition at the prestigious Insa Art Center in Insa-dong in Seoul where he had his nude works on display. In a rare example of display of interest, noted Korean Artist Kim Jong-Hak came, viewed each of Lee’s works attentively and purchased a nude painting of 30 Ho (about 90cm x 70cm)--paying a very good price.

Last November (2013), Artist Lee had a solo exhibition of his works at the Gana Gallery in the art street of Pyeongchang-dong, Seoul. The curator of the Gallery purchased some of his paintings towards the end of the exhibition.

Artists and curators buying paintings of the fellow artists indicate the real status of the artists because they know the value of the art works better than, perhaps, any other people.

Artist Lee was born in Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province in 1956, graduated from Keymyung University in the Daegu Metropolitan City with a BA in fine arts and from the post-graduate School of Art Education of the same University.

Artist Lee has won many coveted awards from prestigious art exhibitions and competitions. He won high honors from the Shilla Grand Art Exhibition from 1983 to 1990, which include an Excellent Work Award, a Special Award and the honor of passing the screening by jurors as a successful entry.

From 1984 to 1987, his works were selected as successful entries at the National Art Exhibition of the Republic of Korea.

From 1986 to 1991, Lee won a Grand Prix and a Special Award on four different occasions at the Grand Art Exhibition of the Daegu Metropolitan City.

On the figure and nude paintings of Artist Lee, Art Critic Oh Kwang-soo says that the nudes of Lee outwardly look not much different from the nude paintings of other established artists but that a close look at Lee’s shows differences.

One of them is his sharp sense of vision. Poses of the model remain in the range of academic domain, but Artist Lee tries to cover the warmth and feelings of the model so that the painting will look as if it were living.

His nude paintings show the sustained efforts which he makes to cover as much as possible all the attributes of a human being.

Artist Lee has also profusely covered the figures, especially the portraits. Among his portrait works are those of one hundred noted ballet dancers of Korea and noted personalities.

Lee’s portrait paintings are not limited to persons of eminence but also broadly cover a wide range of people, including children.

Another differentiating feature of Artist Lee from other artists is the speed in grasping the figure of the model. He finishes the outlines of the model in a matter of a few minutes and in about half an hour the initial phase of his work is finished.

Among the representative works of Artist Lee is the portrait painting of Director Ms. Lee Mi-Jo of the Seoul Dance Company who was covered in the pose of a contemplating woman. This work won the Grand Prix of the Daegu Municipal Art Exhibition.

Another portrait painting of his preference is ‘A Little Girl in Hanbok with Rainbow Sleeves,’ of which the model was the winner of a local Children’s Beauty Contest. Artist Lee painted the girl with the approval of her parents.

There also are many widely acclaimed landscape paintings and one of the outstanding works is ‘An Old Pine Tree on the Nakdong River,’ which was selected by the Daegu Metropolitan City. This large painting, four and half meters in length, is now preserved on display at the Situation Room of the Government Building of the Daegu Metropolitan City.

He has also been a juror at a number of prestigious exhibitions as a senior member of the screening committee of Daegu, Gwangju, Jeongsu, Sungsan, Mudeung Art Exhibitions.

Artist Lee has taught art at Gyeonggi Middle School and worked as a lecturer at the Yeongjin and Daegu Technical College, Daegu University and Keimyung University

Artist Lee is a member of the Korean Figure Painters Association, the Shinmisool Art Association and the Fine Arts 80.

The chronology of the solo, group and invitational exhibitions by

Artist Lee is as follows:

Solo exhibitions:
1968: Daebaek Gallery, Daegu
1991: Hansung Gallery, Daegu
1992: Cheongmok Gallery, Daegu
1994: Seoul Gallery, A, B Halls
1995: Apsan Gallery, Daegu
1996: Byeoka Gallery, Daegu
1998: Lotte Gallery, Seoul
1999: Soho Gallery, Daegu
2000: Seoho Gallery, Seoul
2001: Min Gallery, Daegu
2002: Seoul Arts center (Korean contemporary Art Festival)
2003: Prado Gallery, Daegu
2004: Sejong Culture center, Seoul
2005: Gimcheon Culture & Arts center
2006: Yokohama in Japan Invitation Exhibition
2007: Doosan Art center, Daegu
2008: Metro Gallery, Daegu
2010: Korean Dancers’ Portrait Exhibition, Insa Art center, Seoul
2012: Suseong Gallery on the occasion of opening of the Gallery
2013: Saeteo Gallery in Seoul and Insa Art Hall in Seoul

Invitational exhibitions:
Korea-Japan International Art Exchange, Kobe, Japan
Vancouver, Canada Exhibition (Coban Art Gallery)
Chaumont Exhbition and Auch Exhibition in Paris, France
2001 Galleries Art Festival, Korean Contemporary Art Festival
2007 Daegu Art Fair in Korea and Shanghai Art Fair in China
2008 Daegu Art Fair in Korea and Beijing Art Fair in China
2009 Malaysia Art Fair in Malaysia
Japan-Korea International Art Exchange Exhibition in Sendai City, Japan.
‘Beautiful Gumi’ Landscape Exhibition (Gumi Culture & Art Center)
Nude Exhibition with 32 Artists at Lotte Art Gallery
Korea-Russia Contemporary Artists Invitational Exhibition (Moscow, Russia)
100-Ho-size Exhibition of Korean Women at Lotte World Art Hall
Korean Figure Painters Association Exhibition (Gallery Plus, Canada)
Selected Korean Artist of 1996 Exhibition
‘Language of Love for Nude’ Exhibition at Gallery Doul
‘Two Thousand Ri of the Yalu River’ Exhibition at Gallery Korea
200-Ho-size Art Exhibition by 70 Artists at Jeonju Municipal Art Hall, Korea
300-Ho-size Touring Art Exhibition in Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Mokpo and Daejeon.
Daegu-Milano Invitational Exhibition
Figure Painting Exhibition by 2 Artists at Dongwon Gallery in Daegu
Bongsan Art Festival at Art Galleries Jungang, Apsan, Bongseong and Hanyang
Eve Exhibition by 8 Artists in 1996 at Dongwon Art Gallery
‘Beautiful Vessels’ Exhibition in 1996 in Seoul, Gwangju and Daegu
Exhibition on the theme of ‘Ah, the Republic of Korea!’ at Sang Gallery

For inquires about Artist Lee Myong-hun, please contact Feature Editor Lee Sam-sun at Tels. 02-2298-1740/2 or 1745/2, Fax 02-2298-9506 or Email edt@koreapost.com.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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