Si loin, si proche / Si Distant, So Near - Ji-Young Demol Park, Lee Lee Nam

Laure Schwartz-Arenales ed.

French / English, 127 pp., 81 col. ill., Geneva & Milan, 2024, CHF 30.-

Shortly after the sixtieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and South Korea, this book chronicles the first encounter between two contemporary Korean artists: Ji-Young Demol Park and Lee Lee Nam. Their landscapes – accompanied here by a selection of ancient works from the Musée national des Arts asiatiques-Guimet and the Baur Foundation – are an expression of the links established over the centuries between cultures and objects, materials, colours, and motifs. Jade- and pine-coloured celadon, horizon lines tinged with blue by cobalt oxide, porcelain glazed the colour of snow or the moon: all are echoed in the works of these two creators, whose artistic sensibilities intersect and resonate with the landscapes of the great painter Jeong Seon (1676–1759). Many aspirants have followed in the footsteps of this famous artist of the Joseon period (1392–1910) and have identified with him. Despite their formal di!erences, what unites Ji-Young Demol Park’s ink-bathed mountains and Lee Lee Nam’s virtual landscapes are the originality and vitality of their relationship with this heritage, and the power of their respective artistic visions, which both strive to inspire a re-enchantment with nature in the viewer.