10 Contemporary Korean Artists You Should KnowByIsabella Damrongkul
For years now Korean media and art have taken the world by storm. The country’s international influence on culture is evident in the roaring popularity of K-pop and is no exception in the contemporary art scene where Korean artists have garnered the attention of the art community with their unique approach to creativity. Their artistic endeavors are a sight to behold, boasting a plethora of well-celebrated artists including arguably the most famous video art pioneer, Nam June Paik.
This week The Artling has compiled a curated collection of 10 contemporary Korean artists you should know and look out for.
Seung ah Lee
Seung ah Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea and is now based in Singapore and her native city. The artist works in various mediums including printmaking, printed materials, video, sound, and installation. Her artwork explores the recent phenomena of society such as surveillance systems, record obsession and the relationship between networking to the change in our complicated environment. The artist explores how pervasive media and technology expose our lives and how people respond.
Yongsun Jang is one of Korea’s up-and-coming young artists. He creates mesmerizing sculptures that captivate you, sending you to an ethereal plane. The artist earned both his BFA and MFA in Fine Art, and Sculpture at the University of Seoul, South Korea and has since exhibited his works across Korea and Germany. His works have been acquired by numerous public and private collections including the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea.
Jae Won Choi
Jae Won Choi was born in Busan and gained his BFA and MFA from Hongik University. The artist is often inspired by architecture, landscape, and wooden structures. His works include materials and restoration techniques of Italian antique furniture. Jae Won Choi is a well-established artist who received the 21st Joong-ang Fine Arts Prize in 1999. His works are in the collection of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea.
Juneyoung Lim is an artist based in Seoul who comes from a long line of photographers. The photographer specializes in architecture and fine art photography. He graduated from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco with a degree in Photography and from the School of Visual Arts in New York with a MPS in Digital photography. His works capture the essence and lines and unseen beauty of nature, architecture and art.
Woon-Chul Yang is a visual artist based in Seoul who studied fine art, traditional crafts, religious art and design. The artist is constantly working on paintings as well as sculptures, installations, and ceramic crafts. The artist’s works reveal the various perceptions of existence, and various stories about existence unfolding in the paintings. Woon-Chul Yang paints and expresses the analogical relationship that exists yet also does not exist through the relativity of color.
June Lee’s take on sculptures is unique and will always stand out in any space it occupies. The Seoul based artist received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Painting and Drawing and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Fiber. Her works criticize serious problems she notices in society yet are playful in color and artistry, a distinct approach that should be celebrated.
Jaemin Lee is a Seoul born artist based in Singapore who holds degrees in fine art from esteemed institutions. Lee’s artworks capture the memories of summer and the feelings that are distinctly human. The artist’s master artistry is evident in all her art pieces, igniting a sense of calm and serenity to whoever is in its presence.
Seongyeon Jo is a photographic artist who works with objects through long observations followed by introverted contemplations. Her works quench psychological thirst while concealing past scars, recalled memories and aesthetic sensation related to old objects such as folk paintings, embroidery and ddoksal (wooden stamp for rice cake patterns), and expresses formative beauty by projecting inspirations from nature onto objects encountered every day such as flowers, vases, fruit, rocks and cloth.
Jang Jieun is a visual artist born in Seoul. She has worked on drawings, sculptural installations, and videos. Her work detects subtle movements and the hidden life in inanimate objects, inviting viewers to the moment of intimacy and highlighting invisible things that are usually ignored. Her experiences volunteering around the world inspired her to explore the potential of her work in making a social impact.
Han Youngsoo is a South Korean photographer little known outside his native country. His works seen from today’s vantage point comes as a surprise with their impeccable composition, flawless timing, and meticulous attention to social detail. After taking part in the Korean War (1950-53) Han returned to Seoul and chose photography as a profession. He witnessed a period of profound transformation in Seoul that saw the rapid creation of a modern city and urban society. His photos offer a fascinating window into the stories of ordinary life.
Browse more artworks by contemporary Korean artists in our collection here.
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