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About the collections

Composition of Ha Jung-woong's collection

The Ha Jung-woong collection consists of 2,523 works given in 6 cases of donations in 1993 (212 works), 1999 (471 works), 2003 (1,182 works), 2010 (357 works), 2012 (80 works), and 2014 (221 works). Details on each period of donation are as follows:

The first donation (1993) consists of 212 works by 6 Korean artists in Japan, including 92 works by Chun Hwa-hwang, 38 works by Quck In Sik, 42 works by Kwak Duck-jun, 11 works by Moon Seung-geun, 17 works by Song Young-ok, and 12 works by Lee Ufan.

Next, the second donation (1999) consists of 471 works, including 90 works by 13 Korean artists in Japan, 118 works by 45 foreign artists, and 263 works by 71 Korean artists. Notably, the second donation includes works by Cho Yang-gyu, Kim Deung –mi, Kim Chang-duk, Choi Gwang-ja, Lee Chul-ju, Lee Guk-ja, and Itami-jun, in addition to the 6 Korean artists in Japan from the first donation. It also includes 76 works by 20 Western artists such as prints by Picasso, Rouault, Chagall, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Jim Dine and a sculpture by Bruce Stillman; and 50 works by Ben Shahn, the symbolic artist of American social realism, are included here in the form of oil painting, watercolor painting, drawing, etc. Japanese artists include popular sculptors such as Sato Kurazi, Niizuma Minoru, and Kato Akio, and there are 42 works by 25 artists such as Fukuzawa Ichiro, Kihara Yasuyuki, Hamaguchi Yozo, Yamagata Hiromichi, Sekine Nobuo, and Saito Juichi. Apart from these, there are 263 works by 71 Korean artists such as Yoo Gang-yul, Lee Hang-sung, Choi Young-rim, Nam Kwan, Moon Shin, Byun Jong-ha, Jung Yung-yul, Hwang Yong-yeop, Park Seo-bo, Oh Seung-woo, Kang Yeon-gyun, and Park Bul-dong.

The third donation, which was made in 2003, includes 520 works by newly added Korean artists in Japan in addition to those from the first and second donations, such as Kang Kyung-ja, Kim Seok-chul, Kim Ae-ja, Kim Sun-dong, Kim Young-suk, Park Il-nam, Son Ah-yoo, Oh Il, Lee Young-hoon, Jin Chang-hyun (2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello), and Chae-jun, 365 works by Korean artists such as Kim Chang-yeul, Park Ko-suk, Paik Nam-june, Lee Dae-won, and Oh Syng-yoon, 141 works by Japanese artists such as Noda Norio, Sawada Seikoh, Nakagawa Isaku, Matsuda Reiko, and Kusama Yayoi, 14 works by anonymous artists (Choi Seung-hee photos), and 8 works by Marie Laurencin, Alain Bonnefoit, and Gu Meng-huo, for a total of 1,182 artworks. Note that 331 prints and drawings by Quck In-sik as well as around 100 oil paintings, prints, and watercolor paintings by Moon Seung-geun were added en masse, and that 155 photos of Choi Seung-hee, the pioneer of Korean dance who performed on the global stage during the Japanese colonial era, were included in the donations. Artworks depicting oppressive circumstances, such as the "Hanaoka Incident" wherein Chinese and Korean people who were forcibly conscripted for the Hanaoka copper mine in Odate, Akita Prefecture, Japan were murdered after protesting against brutal labor and abuse (57 prints in woodcuts and epic poems), May 18 Democratic Uprising in Gwangju (165 prints by popular artist Hong Seong-dam who vividly reproduced the site), and Democratic Uprising (46 prints of Tomiyama Taeko who worked with the motif as a Japanese artist) and 34 oil paintings and prints of Kim Seok-chul, a Korean artist in Japan, were reinforced with focus.

The fourth donation in 2010 consists of artworks by Korean artists in Japan, such as 129 works by Son Ah-yoo, 54 works by Oh Il, and 12 works by Kim Young-suk, works by Japanese artists such as 55 works by Kawai Shozaburo, 1 work by Nakamura Kohe, 2 works by Iwata Ken, 1 work by Chiba Katsusuke, and 13 works by Kikuzawa Jinkichi as well as 90 works by 35 Korean artists such as Kang Un, Kim Chang-hee, Shin Jang-sik, O Seung-yoon, Jang Tae-sik, and Hong Seon-woong. This amounts to 357 works by 43 artists.

The fifth donation in 2012 consists of 80 works, including 74 works by Korean artists in Japan such as 18 works by Lee Ufan, 2 works by Kim Kyu-tae, 3 works by Go Sam-kwon, 48 works by Kim In-sook, and 3 works by Lee Guk-ja as well as 6 works by Korean artists including 2 works by Lee Hang-sung and 4 works by Park Byung-hee.

The sixth donation in 2014 added works by local artists, including 47 works by Kang Choul-soo, 10 works by Kang Bong-kyu, 1 work by Lee Yi-nam, works by Korean artists in Japan such as 37 works by Kang Kyung-ja, 33 works by Go Sam-kwon, 1 work by Lee Ufan, 1 work by Oh Il, and 3 works by Lee Guk-ja as well as works by foreign artists such as 1 work by Ben Shahn, 1 work by Yiri Maruki, 1 work by Doshi Maruki, and 1 work by Yuji Kiyota. Also, included are 1 work by Paik Nam-june, 1 work by Ha Jung-woong, and 1 work by Lee Choul-won, reaching a total of 221 works.

With the six aforementioned donations, the Ha Jung-woong collection in Gwangju Museum of Art includes a total of 2,523 works. Ha Jung-woong has been practicing his noble spirit through his relationship with Gwangju Museum of Art for more than 20 years since 1993. Notably, the Ha Jung-woong collection is making continuous reinforcements in order to ensure adequate understanding of the characteristic of the collection "Art of prayer" and the artistic world of each artist.

Status of Ha Jung-woong's collection of artworks by genre
Classification Total Korean paintings Western paintings Engravings Sculptures New Media Crafts Photos Architecture Calligraphy
Quantity 2,523 27 936 1,097 114 12 5 320 1 11
Status of Ha Jung-woong's collection of artworks by artists
Classification Total Domestic artists Korean resident artists in Japan Japanese artists Other foreign artists Anonymous
Quantity 2,523 864 1,168 255 88 148
Characteristics and significance of Ha Jung-woong's collection

The Ha Jung-woong collection is excellent in terms of quantity and quality almost unprecedented individual collection in the history of the world. Notably, it is extremely difficult to shape a characteristic unique to the collection with a certain direction . Considering these, the fact that the Ha Jung-woong collection mainly consists of artworks characterized by prayers of mourning and consolation for those who faced social and political disadvantage and negligence or those who were sacrificed in the whirlwind of history is a notable, excellent characteristic that actually differentiates it from other collections.

The core of the Ha Jung-woong collection lies in the artworks by Korean artists in Japan, which were produced in the midst of the modern history of Korea and Japan. The major themes of these artworks includes ethnic agony, pain, despair, and death experienced by Korean residents in Japan, who are yearning yet desperately, as well as themes that include or practice prayer, consolation, and requiem for them. Therefore, these artworks have artistic significance since not only are they important data for understanding the painful history of Korean residents in Japan through the social function of art; they can also shed light on Korean artists in Japan who have not received proper attention in the course of history of Korean art and serve as data for research. Along with these, the artworks by foreign or Korean artists in the Ha Jung-woong collection share a common characteristic: they incorporate accusation and resistance as to the oppressive reality, yearning for freedom and equality, and message of hope of overcoming such despair and dispute.

The Ha Jung-woong collection, which accounts for more than half of the collections in Gwangju Museum of Art, played a crucial role in raising the level of the collections in terms of their quantity and quality and acquiring the status of an art museum. Note, however, that the significance of the Ha Jung-woong collection in Gwangju Museum of Art transcends mere significance of outward appearance. In other words, the relationship between the Ha Jung-woong collection, which has its unique characteristic as the "Art of prayer," and Gwangju, the city of democracy and human rights where the democratic uprising occurred in May 1980 and which symbolizes the painful modern history of Korea, was meant to be. While they occurred in different time and space, the suffering of Gwangju under the oppressive political reality in the 1980s and the despair experienced by Korean residents in Japan as outsiders, including the pains of those who were put in the disadvantage and neglect, can be understood through the single lens of pain. "Prayer," which is the characteristic of the Ha Jung-woong collection, refers to the grand philosophical significance that, beyond the salvation of individual people, hopes for the end of all wars, oppression, poverty and dawning of peace and love. This message, which begins with "human rights" for Korean residents in Japan, hopes for the "peaceful unification" of the Korean Peninsula as well as the "coexistence" of Korea and Japan, the two homelands of Ha Jung-woong, and contains the philosophy that can be shared with the "May spirit of Gwangju." Therefore, by elevating remorse to love through correct understanding and healing of the pain and agony of Gwangju, Korean residents in Japan, and people with disadvantages, the Ha Jung-woong collection is sending the message that begs for the growth of global human rights and realization of peace and justice for humankind.