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Memories of Yun Hyong-keun

2021.10.22 – 11.14
Yun Hyong-keun

Installation view of Memories of Yun Hyong-keun

PKM Gallery is pleased to present a special exhibition celebrating the publication of Memories of Yun Hyong-keun PKM BOOKS, 2021, which is a compilation of notes left in drawing books, notepads, and letters by Yun Hyong-keun1928-2007, the master of Dansaekhwa. The exhibition features a careful selection of Yun’s paintings including early works and his drawings, together with related archival materials such as letters, diaries, photographs which are on public view for the first time. Altogether, the exhibition aims to fully introduce the Memories of Yun Hyong-keun which shows honest records of Yun’s daily thoughts and feelings.

Yun Hyong-keun uses a concentrated mixture of ultramarine and umber paints to express his state of mind emerged as he went through Korea’s turbulent modern history from Japanese colonial rule, Korean War to the Yushin Regime. The natural smearing effect of paint on linen or cotton canvas is comparable with Chusa Kim Jeong-hui’s calligraphy and Korean ink paintings, and thus encapsulates Yun’s noble and scholarly personality. Yun, having stated that “criteria that makes a person is also what makes an artist,” ceaselessly reflected on himself to parallel art and his life. Yun’s noble philosophy of life is mirrored not only in his artworks but also in his writings.

Installation view of Memories of Yun Hyong-keun

Memories of Yun Hyong-keun is comprised of more than 300 texts gathered and interpreted by PKM Gallery for more than 2 years at Yun’s studio in Seogyo-dong, Seoul. Such texts include notes on notions of Cheonjimun (The Gate of Heaven and Earth)BLUE is heaven, UMBER is the color of the earth. So that’s heaven and earth, and the gate is the composition that was declared in 1977, notes showing his contemplation on art, accounts of trips with his peers, recollections of the times with his father-in-law Kim Whanki whom Yun called “father”, and caring letters to his son and wife. The texts are included in the book together with Yun’s photographs and esquisse from drawing books. Furthermore, essays by Yun’s son Yun Seong-ryeol, Yun’s old friend sculptor Choi Jong Tae, and MMCA director Yun Bum-mo are included in the publication, allowing a comprehensive overview of the Yun Hyong-keun’s life through various points of view.

Memories of Yun Hyong-keun is the first book to be published from newly established PKM BOOKS. Art package in a limited edition of 198 will be released with the book. The package includes 1 copy of Memories of Yun Hyong-keun, 3 reproduced Yun’s notepads, 1 of three types of high-quality art print of his painting. The contents of the package will be on display at the gallery for the audience to be able see its components. We hope the package delivers a new meaning and impression to art collectors who hope to cherish the traces of Yun. During the exhibition, the gallery will be open from Tuesday to Sunday.

Yun Hyong-keun has held solo exhibitions at major art institutions around the world such as the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul), Palazzo Fortuny (Venice), Donald Judd Foundation (New York), Stiftung für Konkrete Kunst (Reutlingen). Currently, the Chinati Foundation (Marfa) is holding Yun’s special exhibition which will be on display until August 2022. His works have been displayed in more than 280 group exhibitions including the Sao Paulo Biennale (1969, 1975), the inaugural exhibition of Korean pavilion at Venice Biennale (1995), Gwangju Biennale (2000), Tate Gallery (Liverpool), and Tokyo Central Art Museum (Tokyo). Yun’s works are included in the permanent collections of internationally renowned art institutions including Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul), Seoul Museum of Art (Seoul), Leeum Samsung Museum of Art (Seoul), Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (Tokyo), M+ (Hong Kong), Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago), and Tate Modern (London).

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