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South Korean Art Exchange Comes to Campus

By Stephanie Deodat
Staff Writer

LIU Post hosted an art exhibition for South Korean schools Ulsan and Honam Universities in the Hillwood ASL Gallery, from Sept. 16 to the 27. During this time, works from Art students of Ulsan and Honam Universities were showcased, featuring a variety of mediums that included painting, drawing, printmaking, sculptures, mixed media, and collages.

The Student Art Gallery, where the art exchange took place
The Student Art Gallery, where the art exchange took place

Curated by MFA graduate Helena Song, Ulsan University’s opening reception was held on Wednesday, Sept. 17, followed by Honam University’s, held on Wednesday, Sept. 24, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Heon Woo Nam, a MFA student of LIU Post, is scheduled to have his own art reception on Wednesday, Oct. 1, from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. in the gallery.

The relationship forged between LIU Post and the Korean universities arose about three years ago, when foreign exchange student, Ok Kim, graduated from LIU Post with a Master of Fine Arts. Kim went on to acquire a position as a teacher at Honam University. Her connections with both LIU Post and Honam University were the propelling forces that set this international art exchange in motion.

“[Kim] knows about [LIU], so using this alumni connection was very important [in making] this event happen. She’s such a great asset,” said Professor Seung Lee, director of Fine Arts and graduate studies here at LIU Post.

Through Kim’s connections, Lee took seven students and one faculty member on an art expedition through Korea’s colleges. They showcased their artwork at, as well as alongside, four Korean universities that they visited abroad. “It was a fantastic experience for everybody. LIU students [got] to show [their artwork] with Korean students and experienced a real exchange. It’s not just [about] sending the work or looking at the work, but really [getting to] interact [with the artists],” Lee said.

He continued, “A lot of times we use the fancy word ‘exchange’, but it’s not [a] real exchange, it’s just send[ing] it.” 11 delegates including the Dean of Honam University traveled from South Korea just to attend the art exchange reception at Post. “This is a truly successful experience for our students, faculty, and the university because [we’re letting] Korea know that LIU is very active [in the arts],” Lee said.

Ulsan University’s past exhibit was very similar to Honam’s, in both success and meeting expectations. The purpose of the exchange was to have three diverse universities find a common ground through art.

Faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students presented their creations at both Uslan and Honam’s exhibitions. “I tried to make it [so that] everybody get[s] involved, so [that] they can be part of it instead of saying ‘oh, only our top graduate students or faculty will be shown’,” Lee said.

Plans have already been made for next year’s art expedition to Korea, with four different schools lined up. The excursion is a 10-day, full credit summer workshop sometime in May 2015, and will be open to both Art, and non-Art majors. “All my students are so excited about it because they heard how great [of an] experience it was when I took students three years ago. They keep begging me to take them so we’re going to do it right after school is over,” Lee said.

The final exhibit of the international series will feature LIU Post’s Heon Woo Nam (a.k.a. HuNoo). HuNoo is a sculptor who will be showcasing a series of eyepieces at his reception in the SAL Gallery. “When I was in Korea, I usually [made] 3D realistic animal[s], and when I finished my work, I just took the eye part. I’m going to be concentrating on [the making of the] eye series,” HuNoo said.

“I’m curious about the imagination, and also I’m curious about the real creation. I don’t want my work to be only my imagination. I want the audience to make their own imagination, so we can both make a creation,” said HuNoo regarding why he shifted his artistic focus to the eye. HuNoo explained, “Through this, my audience can make their own animal, whatever they want [based on the] eye pieces.”

“I think that everybody is connected because we can’t live without each other,” Kim said. “There are very different pieces [in the exhibit], yet they are [all] together in one space. [Each piece] expresses [different] characteristics, and their style is very different, yet they [are] all together in one space.”

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