Arts and culture are a prominent part of life in Seattle, and we at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) especially love the unique exhibitions put on at the Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAM). Their current feature is called “Paradox of Place” and as the SAM website describes, this collection is “the first major exhibition of Korean contemporary art in Seattle.” It contains a wide variety of works, which “range from mixed-media installation and video art, to photography” and each piece, “in its own way addresses an important, often poignant, issue, and yet, as a group, all the works address paradoxes in Korean art and society.”

Below we take a deeper look at a few of the featured artists:

Jung Yeondoo

In Bewitched #2, Yeondoo re-envisions a future for a food service worker and transports her into the rugged snowy mountains. As the SAM website explains, Jung finds inspiration in the people he meets and “his pieces result from the conversations that naturally arise from these meetings.” Further, “in composing the series, he seamlessly weaves together the stories of ideal and realistic paradoxes carried on by these individuals via the rhetoric of dreams, the persistence of longing, and hope.”

Bewitched #2 Seuoul, 2002, Jung Yeondoo

Bewitched #2 Seuoul, 2002, Jung Yeondoo

Yee Sookyung

Of Yee Sookung’s art, SAM says that she primarily works in “traditional Asian materials like ceramics and cinnabar” and often “takes existing ceramics and turns them into new sculptures that are softly shaped, anthropomorphic, and universally beautiful.”

Installation View of Paradox of Place

Installation View of Paradox of Place

In Thousand, Sookyung spent three years fusing porcelain shards, epoxy and 24 karat gold leaf in order to focus on labor-intensive artistic techniques.

Thousand (Detail), 2012, Yee Sookung

Thousand (Detail), 2012, Yee Sookung

Lee Yongbaek

A filmmaker, Lee Yongbaek uses video and multi-media platforms to, as SAM puts it, “reveal and question our diversified society by touching upon contradictory subjects such as war and peace, Buddha and Jesus, and the real and the imagined.” Below is a photo displaying some of the uniforms from Angel-Soldier, a “video performance depicting the stark contrast between the two figures that expresses the social conditions of Lee’s youth.”

Angel-Soldier (Uniforms), Lee Yongbaek

Angel-Soldier (Uniforms), Lee Yongbaek

Another interesting piece on display is a late 19th century robe from the Qing Dynasty in China, which was previously highlighted as SAM’s “Object of the Week.” As the feature explains, the owner’s wealth is revealed by “the sumptuous silk and embroidery in gold-wrapped thread.” Further, the use of purple evokes royalty while the “shou character” in the design “signals this as a burial robe.”

Robe, late 19th century, silk with gold embroidery, Chinese, Qing Dynasty 1644 to 1912

Robe, late 19th century, silk with gold embroidery, Chinese, Qing Dynasty 1644 to 1912

Visit the Seattle Asian Art Museum website for more details and visitor information >>

The #ParadoxOfPlace exhibition is on display through March 13th.

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