Sac State’s Library Gallery hosts Korean print art exhibit

Anisca Miles

Sacramento State’s Library Gallery will hold a free exhibit three years in the making, “The Land and the People – Contemporary Korean Printmaking,” which opens Thursday through May 17.

Sacramento State Associate Professor Ian Harvey, Professor of Art Emeritus Koo Kyung Sook from Chungnam National University in South Korea and Director of Namu Art Kim Jin Ha from Seoul, South Korea, have all curated the exhibition.

The 10 participating Korean artists will be showcasing approximately 90 works – traditional wood blocks, silicon casting, linocut and digital processes – all making a statement of their own, displaying social, political and historical events.

“We’ve looked at so many artists (and) these are our favorites,” Harvey said. “They are all so different.”

Only four of the featured artists have exhibited in the United States previously. “The Land and the People – Contemporary Korean Printmaking,” presents a rare opportunity for students and art enthusiasts in the community to see work that has mostly only been presented in Europe, Japan and China.

The variety of the featured pieces will display the diversity of printmaking in South Korea, allowing students to experience the land and people of Korea like never before.

In the exhibit, Kim Eok, Ryu Yeun Bok, An Jeong Min, Lee Sang Guk, Yoon Yeo Geul and Kim Joon Kwon have pieces that address the land from a historical perspective some showing the land as the center of political controversy. Others display experiences of the natural environment and urban environments.

The featured art of Suh Sang Hwan, Lee Yun Yop, Chung Sang Gon, Jung Won Chul tell the lives of the people of Korea. Viewers will see imagery of Buddhist, Confucian, Zen and Christianity. Visitors will also get to experience the story of surviving “Comfort Women” as well as those defending labor rights and resisting government development.

Harvey and Koo wanted to find a way to create a platform for as many different disciplines on campus as possible to participate. Some faculty in Asian studies, dance, English and history are already planning to include the exhibit as part of their curriculum this semester.

“I tried to support this project as much as I can. I wrote a letter of support for a grant on campus and help publicized the exhibition both inside and outside of the campus,” said Pattaratorn Chirapravati, professor and director of the asian studies program, “Students will appreciate to see original, beautiful art works from Korea.”

The exhibit experience will include a public lecture at the gallery given by Harvey and Koo on March 12 at 1:30 p.m. Guest coordinator, Kim Jin Ha, will also present a lecture on contemporary printmaking practices and the history of wood block prints during the University’s annual Festival of the Arts in April.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.