The Charles B. Wang Center in Stony Brook University is dedicated to showcasing artwork by numerous artists from Asian backgrounds. From Sept. 29 to Dec. 23, 2016, the gallery will host a show called "The Power and Pleasure of Possessions in Korean Painted Screens" which is being hosted in partnership with The Korean Foundation. This is the center's first major exhibition on Long Island and it is filling three spacious rooms with art. Exhibited works come from both museums and private collections and explore the technique of still-life paintings on screens which is a traditional artistic practice in Korea known as "chaekgeori (冊巨里)" which translates to mean "books and things." This was one of the most prolific art forms in Korea from 1392 to 1910 during the long reign of the Joseon dynasty. Art in this form generally depicts books, screens and other materials as symbolic embodiments of knowledge, power, and social reform.
Curator Jinyoung A. Jin, the Director of Cultural Programs, highlighted how the exhibition emphasizes how Koreans traditionally value books and knowledge. Via the official press release she stated: "The exhibit will reveal a timeless and universal curiosity for cultural exchange, humanistic values, and the pursuit of knowledge, which can also be a bridge for further intercultural understanding and dialogue.”
Stephanie S. Lee is one of the artists who was invited to exhibit three pieces of art at this show. "All asian paintings somewhat have similar subject matters such as mountains and flower, animals and so on but painting of books is only found in Korea so it's very unique," Stephanie said. "I like its distinctive characteristic. It is visually very well balanced composition wise as well with all the horizontal and vertical lines that multiple books created." As a Korean-American Stephanie was always attracted to traditional folk paintings and she especially liked the fact that Minhwa expressed human desire with symbolism. "Using the foreshortening technique of chaekgeori as the predominant visual structure, I reinterpret the lost connection with tradition while drawing on themes and techniques common to modern art," she explained. "In portraying conspicuously foreign and exotic material goods in a traditional Korean setting, I suggest that the desire to flaunt wealth and personal possessions is enduring and unchanging. My painting expresses this fundamental, human philosophy in a way that bridges both the past and the modern times. By searching for philosophical meanings beyond phenomenal substances, I search for the core value of life transcending time and era." Aside from this exhibit, Stephanie is also preparing for a solo exhibition titled 'Echoing Roar' in October, at the ART MORA gallery in Chelsea. "I will also be a part of the group show called 'The Primacy of Color' at the George Billis Gallery in November," she stated. "Check my website for details."
The Charles B. Wang Center in Stony Brook University gallery visiting hours are Monday thru Friday 9:00 AM–8:00 PM, and Saturday and Sunday, 12 PM–8:00 PM. To learn more, visit the official website.