Who Are Some Well-Known Korean Painters?


Quick Answer

Some well-known Korean painters include Tschoon Su Kim, Suh Youngsun and Sun Mu. All three are contemporary painters, the former two originally from South Korea and the latter from North Korea.

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The paintings of Tschoon Su Kim are based on a tradition called gestural abstraction in which paint is not meticulously applied on a canvas but smeared, dripped or splashed. His paintings are also known by his exclusive use of the color blue. He extensively researches and employs a wide range of shades of the color to give rise to suggestions of the ocean and the sky through his techniques and the words with which he titles his paintings.

Suh Youngsun's work features carefully planned scenes using rough brushstrokes and bright primary colors. He was chosen as Artist of the Year in 2009 by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in South Korea.

Sun Mu was trained to create posters and murals for the communist government of North Korea as a young painter. When he had his first exhibit in South Korea featuring paintings of young children singing in groups like birds, and bold text announcing that the children were all happy, South Korean authorities were tipped off and investigated the work under national security laws against communist propaganda. These paintings, however, like much of the artist's other paintings, are ironic critiques of his homeland, from which he escaped in 1998.

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