Simply Nature 1997
CHAE, CHANG-WAN'S PAINTINGS
May 27~June 1, 1997
Birla Academy of Art and Culture
108, Southern Avenue, Calcutta - 700 029. INDIA
Distinctive echoes of Korean traditions
Fri. 6 June 1997
Although the young Korean painter, Chae Chang-Wan, studied at Kala-Bhavan(Visva-Bharati) for an advanced degree, the series of his paintings done over the past one year or so, now on view at the Birla Academy of Art and Culture, bear virtually no evidence of his training under teachers. This would seem to speak well of the methods of teaching at Kala-Bhavan where foreign students, especially high artistic skill and imagination, like Chae, are not sought to be ‘indoctrinated’. Even Chae’s favourite technique, oil and stone-powder on canvas, would appear fairly unconventional by academic practices pursued at Kal-Bhavan. But, these apart, Chae’s works carry a distinctly Korean flavour, bearing out his native manner of pictorial conceptualization, as also his own abstractionist vision of reality.
Happily, he is among those painters of his genre who make it a point to provide a clue of two (often by way of throwing in ‘distorted’ imagery of identifiable objects, both animate and inanimate), although these are seldom like appendages hanging loosely in the pictorial space. Spontaneity and visual naturalness mark most of Chae’s compositions.
The art tradition of Korea, since the early Han Chinese invasions, and later in the wake of the cultural imperialism of the T’ang dynasty over Great Sillan Korea, and subsequently during the interface between Sung China and the Koryo dynasty, followed by Ming China’s influence on the arts and crafts of Korea, is a rich crop of cross-cultural fertilization.
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