The China-Korea Art Exchange Exhibition shows paintings and calligraphic works by artists from the two countries.[Photo provided to China Daily]
There's been a rise in exchanges between Chinese and South Korean cultural circles in the past few years.
This includes official events such as an exhibition of contemporary sculptures that is now being held at the Shandong Art Museum in East China's Jinan city and another exhibition of classical Chinese, Korean and Japanese paintings from the 15th century to the 19th century at Beijing's National Museum of China.
Exchanges at the grassroots level also bring artists of the two countries together－and an exhibition in Beijing's Songzhuang art district is doing just that. The China-Korea Art Exchange Exhibition is showing paintings and calligraphic pieces that reveal similarities and differences in art of the two countries.
Some 60 artists from both countries have interpreted East Asian cultural features in their modern works on show here. The Korean Fine Arts Association's Pyeongtaek branch initiated the exhibition by bringing dozens of artists who are active in producing oil works, ink paintings and watercolor works.
Beijing's Fine Arts Equivalence Gallery, where the exhibition is being held, has presented Chinese artists with different orientations of contemporary art, the current show curator Bai Yefu says.
Many featured Chinese artists are still in their 20s and 30s, and their works demonstrate an experimental spirit, he says.
Poon Kan-chi, 29, a Beijing-based artist originally from Hong Kong, shows one painting from her Dragonfly 03 series in the current China-Korea exhibition. In the work she created earlier this year, she portrays a vividly colorful scene in which a dragonfly is surrounded by clusters of flowers, through which she addresses the intimacy of "private space in a rapidly changing world", she says.
Poon also works with digital photography, sculpture and video through which she expresses people's pursuit of personal identity.
"Young artists boast great vitality in trying various mediums and ways of expression," says Bai. "The distinctiveness of their approaches shows a broader vision because of their exposure to global art since an early age. They also gain strength from cultural traditions and such exposure will only take them to higher levels."
Korean artists include Yeon Soon-ok, who is presenting a traditional ink painting of bamboo, a shared cultural symbol of "righteousness" in East Asia; and Hwang Jea-sung whose oil on canvas has animation characters in a dream sequence, exploring the distinction between fantasy and reality.
Bai says works like Yeon's painting speak to long-standing cultural links in this part of the world: Chinese literati painting reached a peak during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, and influenced many Korean artists who further developed a style of their own.
The Korean works will travel to other cities, introducing the diversity of contemporary Korean art to more Chinese who know a lot about the country's TV dramas, pop culture and cosmetics.
If you go
9 am-6 pm, through Nov 20. Block C 106, Shangpu Art Zone, Songzhuang, Tongzhou district, Beijing. 010-8951-5019.