Curated by: Kim Inhye
Yun Hyong-keun (Cheongju 1928 – Seoul 2007) was one of the most important post-World War II Korean artists. His life was marked by his country’s troubled history: he was repeatedly imprisoned for his freedom of expression, and in 1950 he miraculously escaped a group execution by firing squad. Out of forty companions only he and four others survived. After an initial phase of experimentation, his artistic style developed and became defined in the first half of the 1970s. It reflects the harshness he suffered, and is centred on a few essential elements.
The very dark shade of pigment he used, a combination of ultramarine blue and burnt umber, was spread with a large brush in highly diluted successive layers that gradually impregnated the raw canvas. The ultramarine blue and burnt umber symbolise the sky and the earth, while the application of the paint parallels the phenomenon of water, which generates life by soaking into the porosity of the ground.