Svg patterns

A group of visual artists from Korea are to exhibit a range of striking work at Nottingham Trent University as part of an exciting cultural exchange initiative. The artists – who specialise in painting, sculpture, design, craft and photography – are leading academics from the Chung Ang University in Seoul, and will show their work during the Scales of the Dragon exhibition from October 22 to November 21.

Work by 26 academics will be on show at the exhibition, which takes its name from the various units of art on display and the Chung Ang University symbol animal. 

Among them will be painter Lee Jong-gu, a Korean Artist of the Year 2006, who for the last 20 years has focused on the struggle of Korean rural life. His work depicts both the anger and the hope that Korean farmers harbour with a sense of realism as the country’s agricultural communities collapse due to struggles with industrialism, urbanisation, and globalisation. 

Ryu Ho-yeol looks at the idea of falling into daydreams in our daily lives and how they present us with a moment of relaxation – allowing us to escape from reality into a world of imagination. He uses a variety of media technology to achieve this; one of his pieces on show, a three dimensional artwork called Laufen 2007, was computer-generated and depicts a runner in continual motion. 

Influenced by early 1970s modernism, An Byeong-seok uses steel brush strokes to carry the image of a grass field wavering in the wind; his affluent colours bring to mind a summer field of barley or an autumn field steeped in the setting sun. An Byeong-seok has entered national and international exhibitions such as the Cagnes International Festival of Painting (France) the Asian Art Exhibition (Japan) and Art Chicago 2000 (US). 

The exhibition is part of a unique collaboration between the two institutions which has already seen fine art staff from the university’s School of Art and Design travel to Chung Ang to exhibit their work and run master classes for the Korean students. Chung Ang students also come to Nottingham Trent University for a year-long exchange, while Nottingham students take part in an art summer school in Seoul each year. 

Professor Simon Lewis, the university’s Head of College of Art and Design and Built Environment, has given several lecturers at Chung Ang as part of the relationship, which was forged when Chung Ang graduate Dr Seong Hee Kim came to Nottingham Trent University to study an art and science-related PhD. Dr Seong Hee Kim is now a project co-ordinator for the university’s Centre for Effective Learning in Science.

“This exhibition is a great opportunity for people to see firsthand the work of some of Korea’s most exciting artists,” said Professor Lewis. 

He said: “Nottingham Trent University’s School of Art and Design prides itself on its international partnerships and this particular collaboration enables the promotion of joint research as well as unique exchange opportunities. We’re really looking forward to the exhibition which promises to give staff, students and visitors an excellent insight into Korean art and culture.” 
Before the exhibition begins, art historian Professor Kim Young-ho from Chung Ang University will give a lecture on Visual Art Today in Korea.