Previous Exhibition

Huh Daljae_One Thing White at Branch Tip
Huh Daljae_One Thing White at Branch Tip
  • ·Period

    2021.02.23 ~ 2021.06.13

  • ·Venue

    Gwangju Museum of Art 3, 4 Gallery

  • ·Admission Fee

    FREE

  • ·Sponsorship

    Gwangju Museum of Art

The Gwangju Museum of Art unveils an invitational exhibition of Huh Dal-jae in 2021. This exhibit is significant in that it presents literati paintings represented in a contemporary manner through works by the artist who have inherited namjonghwa (남종화, 南宗畵, the Southern School of painting), an offshoot of Namdo art. Its title, One Thing White at Branch Tip (枝頭一白) is appropriated from House with Plum Blossom and Snow (梅雪軒圖), a heptasyllabic quatrain (a quatrain with seven Chinese characters in each line) by Jeong Do-jeon, a prominent scholar-official during the late Goryeo to the early Joseon periods. This is full of references explicitly to the beauty of a plum blossom at the tip of a branch as well as implicitly to an expansion of thought, an insight into and understanding of all things in nature. Art in a literary culture was a means for Jeong to not only express what he had aesthetically desired but also to convey what he had constantly felt. This exhibition is thus intended to showcase the process by which Huh’s literati spirit is represented in the visual medium of painting. In addition, it demonstrates an aspect in which his paintings are reconstructed and reinterpreted in literati painting that considers the concept of painting’s spirituality significant.

Number of Works

40 Pieces of Korean Painting

Design

Huh’s work keeps traditional subject matter and notions in order to clarify three perfections in poetry, calligraphy, and painting, particularly required in literati painting. And yet, his work is suggestively couched in distinctive pictorial idioms made up of the two coexisting elements of extravagance and moderation. He rests heavily on audaciously interpreting blank space, skillfully adopting gradated ink coloring, and rendering six tones of ink. Referred to as sinnamjonghwa (신남종화, 新南宗畵, the new Southern School of painting) by art critic Yoon Jin-seob, it is seen as a process of inheriting the old and giving rise to the new. You can feel chic and elegant contemporary Korean-style paintings marked by a new evolvement of the literati style.

Contents

The Gwangju Museum of Art unveils an invitational exhibition of Huh Dal-jae in 2021. This exhibit is significant in that it presents literati paintings represented in a contemporary manner through works by the artist who have inherited namjonghwa (남종화, 南宗畵, the Southern School of painting), an offshoot of Namdo art. Its title, One Thing White at Branch Tip (枝頭一白) is appropriated from House with Plum Blossom and Snow (梅雪軒圖), a heptasyllabic quatrain (a quatrain with seven Chinese characters in each line) by Jeong Do-jeon, a prominent scholar-official during the late Goryeo to the early Joseon periods. This is full of references explicitly to the beauty of a plum blossom at the tip of a branch as well as implicitly to an expansion of thought, an insight into and understanding of all things in nature. Art in a literary culture was a means for Jeong to not only express what he had aesthetically desired but also to convey what he had constantly felt. This exhibition is thus intended to showcase the process by which Huh’s literati spirit is represented in the visual medium of painting. In addition, it demonstrates an aspect in which his paintings are reconstructed and reinterpreted in literati painting that considers the concept of painting’s spirituality significant.


  • White Plum Blossoms
    • Title

      White Plum Blossoms

    • Name

      허달재

    • Date

      2016

    • Scale

      145x208cm

    • Material

      한지에 수묵 채색 금니(金泥)

    • Description of work

      Stories contained in the plum blossom paintings by Lin Bu, a Chinese poet during the Song dynasty, are well known for his anecdotes that praise plum trees and cranes, likening the plum blossom to his wife and the crane to his child. The plum blossom was the setting of Plum Blossom and House (梅花書屋圖) that is a romantic representation of one’s life in the country full of plum blossoms along with a phrase from Little Plum Blossom at Hill Garden (山園小梅), a poem by Lin Bu. Artists of literati painting showed their particular interest in plum blossoms that inspired them. Their scattered shadows fall lightly on clear water / Their subtle scent pervades the moonlit dusk. (疏影橫斜水清淺 暗香浮動黃昏)

  • Sound outside Sound
    • Title

      Sound outside Sound

    • Name

      허달재

    • Date

      2000

    • Scale

      135x174cm

    • Material

      한지에 수묵

  • Peony
    • Title

      Peony

    • Name

      허달재

    • Date

      2015

    • Scale

      129x190cm

    • Material

      한지에 수묵 채색 금니(金泥)

  • Spirit of the brush
    • Title

      Spirit of the brush

    • Name

      허달재

    • Description of work

      Huh has made forays into visualizing his own symbolization to represent the spirituality and vitality of literati culture. This is roughly analogous to a process in which the artist as a literary person studies a profound insight into humans and material properties. One of his representative series, Sound outside Sound (聲外聲) is interpreted as “sound beyond sound.” It refers to the inner sense we feel through our insight, not listening to any sound actually. The sound that is not a sound is a soundless communication necessary for the five senses including the sense of hearing, such as one’s inner shape, atmosphere, and dignity. Literati painting in Eastern art is referred to as poetry without characters or poetry without sound. This means we are able to experience an artist’s poetic world by reading some meaning with our eyes. Huh’s work is both "seeing" the tale of a literati painting and “hearing” the scent of dignity it radiates.

  • The scent of brush and ink
    • Title

      The scent of brush and ink

    • Name

      허달재

    • Description of work

      The cardinal motifs adopted for literati painting are the Four Gentlemen (the plum blossom, the orchid, the bamboo, and the chrysanthemum), flower, figure, and landscape. Huh’s work addresses flowers, especially plum blossoms, one of the Four Noblemen that has been the elemental subject matter of literati painting in his own manner. The plum blossom frequently mentioned in classical literature has been employed to stand for spirituality as it has a strong scent and blooms in winter. A symbolic aspect of the plum blossom in his paintings is couched in his brush and ink techniques that gradate ink coloring. Painters from the Southern School of painting scene have constantly portrayed the plum blossom while Huh has also painted this subject matter and its beauty in his own distinctive way.

  • The garden of a literary person
    • Title

      The garden of a literary person

    • Name

      허달재

    • Description of work

      Literati painting has often been regarded as a means for intellectuals to enhance their cultural refinement. His works include a series of still-life paintings featuring tea utensils that reflect the profundity of tea culture. A variety of flower paintings he worked on present a system of literary symbols. Peony and grape are frequently depicted and interpreted under the concept of ten flower friends, eight noblemen, or six noblemen. Accordingly, his work shows the spirit of literary men who train themselves to be refined in a broad range of disciplines such as literature, painting, and tea ceremonies. This is in concert with the character of contemporary Korean-style painting that seeks diversity.