InKo Centre, In associate with Lalit Kala Akademi, Arts Council Korea and
Artelier Aki, invite you to


Dr Sudhakar Sharma, Secretary, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

6.30 pm  
3 November  
Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai  

The Lamp of the East

The lamp of the east In the golden age of Asia Korea was one of its lamp-bearers And that lamp is waiting to be lighted once again For the illumination in the east (Rabindranath Tagore, 1929)

This is an Indian poem by Rabindranath Tagore(1861-1941), that is specially loved by Koreans. When Tagore visited Japan in 1929, a Korean journalist recommended that he visits Korea. He could not visit then , but he wrote a poem titled 'The Lamp of the East’. This poem speaks of the Japanese Ruling Era in Korea. The poem was published in the Donga Daily Newspaper which has a very strong presence in Korea. The poem was printed in the middle school textbooks in Korea after the country won its freedom from Japan and it had a profound impact on Korean people. Even today, Tagore, and Mahatma Gandhi are the two individuals, remembered and revered by Koreans as towering intellectuals who most aptly represent India.

The Lamp of the East brings together seven contemporary Korean artists who will present their work at the Lalit Kala Akademi in Chennai in November 2010.The title of this exhibition, takes after the above poem by Tagore who admired and paid tribute to Korea eighty years ago. The exhibition seeks to pay its respect to Tagore and to present that Korea is indeed now ‘The Lamp of the East’ as was predicted by Tagore many years ago.

The Lamp of the East includes some of the most remarkable Korean artists. The 7 artists include Jheon Soocheon who got the Special Award in the Venice Biennial in 1995, Debbie Han who was awarded the Sovereign Asian Art Prize in 2009, Lee Leenam who is highly recommended by International Art Fairs and Auctions, Wang Jiwon whose work was highlighted at the recent Korean Art Show in New York, Sin Kiwoun who got the grand prize at the Jungang Fine Arts Prize in2007 in Korea, Seok Cheol Joo who is highly appraised by experts and Lee Gwang Ho who is receiving considerable attention within art circles for his solid skill and high quality solo exhibitions.

The artworks of this show were chosen by focusing on their moderate aesthetic with reference to Korean contemporary art. The sense of moderate aesthetic is a major trend currently pursued by contemporary Korean artists. This aestheic is portrayed by artists through a process of asking and answering questions about their identities; by living and immersing themselves in the rapidly changing world with its overabundance of images. Every single piece shows the artists’ contemplation and meditation of and through the cultures that they belong to. This exhibition looks back upon the memory of Tagore with respect and affection ahead of the 150th anniversary of his birth. He will be remembered by Korean artists from the Asia he loved, even as we continue to recall his poem, with admiration and gratitude. - Insang Song, Curator.

About the Curator:
Insang Song

Insang Song was a curator for the Seoul Arts Center from 1987 to 2009. The Seoul Arts Center is one of the world's top 10 art centres. For 22 years, he has planned more than thirty exhibitions and events. He has, since 2006 become increasingly interested in Indian contemporary art. Not only did he introduce Indian contemporary art to the Seoul Arts Center but was also was responsible for introducing Indian art to other galleries in Korea and to foreign countries through art fairs.

Insang Song has curated many exhibitions, including Hybrid Trend, 2006, Seoul Arts Center which was said to have jolted the Korean artistic circle and was ranked as the second Best Exhibitions of Year 2006 by a professional art journal, Auction Monthly. He presented exhibitions that began the trend of showcasing Indian art in Korea-INDIAVATA- An exhibition with 4 Indian artists at the Sun Contemporary Gallery, 2008, Seoul and Pink City; an international exhibition including 2 Indian artists in 2009, at the Eve Gallery, Seoul. As a co-ordinator, he arranged Dileep Sharma's solo show in 2008 at the Nowan Arts Center, Seoul; presented 2 Indian artists along with EM Art Gallery at Art Beijing 2009; an India Special exhibition in 2009 at the Korea International Art Fair (KIAF) in Seoul; Farhad Hussain's solo show in 2009 at Gallery Soheon, Taegu, Korea and M. Pravat's Solo show in 2010 at Gallery LVS in Seoul.