National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art | 30 Samcheong-ro, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu
03062 Seoul

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artist / participant

press release

MMCA Gwacheon

Lee Jung-seob(1916-1956) is an artist who left a deep impression on people's mind as Korea's "national artist." Lee was born in Pyeongwon, Pyeongannamdo, Korea, and left for Tokyo, Japan for his studies. After graduation, Lee returned to Korea and worked based in Wonsan, Gangwondo until the Korean War which began soon after. Following the outbreak of the war, Lee took refuge in Busan and Jeju. After the war, he did not settle in one place but instead wandered around the country, in Tongyeong, Daegu, and Seoul, until his death in the age of 40 without any family or friends. During his life, Lee fully embodied the tragedy of Korea as well as his artistic spirit and passion. This exhibition which commemorates the 100th anniversary of Lee Jung-seob's birth is also the first solo exhibition of the artist organized by MMCA, Korea. The exhibition explores the path chosen by a liberal artist which penetrates the chaotic history of modern Korea. The life and art of Lee Jung-seob, the artist who depended on art almost as if it is a religion and who had never let go of hope and innocence even in hardships-suggest some meaningful implications to the audience.