K-slavic duo exhibition in South Korea

March 20, 2023
An art exhibition with the korean artist Yea-Ji Park, focused on korean and slavic folk art.

A cultural friendship

Yea-Ji and I met in 2005 in Paris, France where we went to the same art school: Ecole Boulle. Throughout our friendship we learned a lot about our respective cultures: korean and polish. As we have both experienced growing up in a diverse environment, we understand each other very well. Every time we meet (every four years in person, but decidedly more often on the videocalls) we talk about the amount of similarities in cultures in general.

Identity crisis

Tales and stories that have been told over the centuries are one of the things that seem to be repetitive. As if there was some kind of collective consciousness. Similar stories are told to children to keep them obedient or to explain the creation of the world. We can’t deny we live in a globalized world where cultural identity can be questionable and challenging. I believe that folk art and tales can be answers to define it. Stories that have been repeated over centuries are still shaping us. We can observe a recent rise of interest in slavic mythology among central and eastern Europeans, as well as an interest in traditional handcraft. By looking back we are trying to define us today.

As I was planning to visit Yea-Ji in South Korea, we decided to work on an art project together. After several “kakaotalks” and lots of shared sketches, I packed my bag and brushes and flew to Seoul for the third time.

Art pieces inspired by folk

In my art pieces I combined popular animal symbols, legend and folk tales characters with compositions inspired by the slavic traditional paper art. By selecting elements from the slavic and korean esthetics, mixing techniques and giving freedom to my imagination, I created a series of art pieces that are a tribute to our cultural heritage. Yea-Ji focused on showing her own stories by including metaphors of social problems. She modernized and kept the essence of folk tales.

The exhibition entitled “Once upon a time” took place in October 2022 in Yang Pyeong. The opening was a unique experience. Thank You to all the wonderful visitors who came to see our work, discuss art and cultural differences. Thank You for your kind words, numerous gifts and investing your time. The exhibition caught the eye of the korean platform Fingo Ars as well as two french journalists: Laura Breut and Alexandre Manceau. Yea-Ji Park an I had the pleasure to be interviewed by them for their Youtube channel: Le Binôme.

This was an absolutely amazing experience that I hope to repeat very soon! Gamsa hamnida!

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