Reviving the Spirit of ''Ill-fated Genius'' Na Hye Seok
Reviving the Spirit of ''Ill-fated Genius'' Na Hye Seok
  • reported by Ji Eun-ju,
  • 승인 2001.07.25 00:00
  • 수정 2013-07-12 16:27
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'Ill-fated woman genius' Na Hye Seok. She was the first-ever woman western painter and feminist in Korea, but was not allowed to spread her wings fully during her time. Na has returned to us together with the artists who came after her.

The channel of her return is 'Exhibition WOMAN - a collection by Na Hye Seok and three others,' which opened from June 29. Her life and works are revisited through this exhibition, together with the works of three female artists - Kim Won Sook's paintings, Jeong Jong Mi's Paper Art and Han Ae Gyu's Clay Art. 

The exhibition was preceded on June 28 by a seminar to better understand the late artist and a traditional Korean-style requiem dance in commemoration of the artist who did not gain recognition in her time. 


"The Dancer" Oil on canvas 39 X 33.5cm 1928
Na was the first woman in Korea to study western painting. She was a prolific painter, producing numerous paintings such as <Self-Portrait> and expressions of her travel around the globe such as <Scenes of Spain> and <Scenes of France>.

Na showed her awareness of feminism through her novel <Kyung Hee>. She was also a nationalist who served a five-month prison term for her involvement in the march for independence during Japanese Colonial rule. As the wife of a diplomat, she looked after fleeing independence fighters during her stay in Andong, China.

Among her works on display in the exhibition are sketches depicting housewife Kim Il Yeop, whose days are filled with the drudgery of household chores. Also on display are paintings meant to heighten awareness of feminism, such as the painting that depicts traditional holidays as more work for housewives. The exhibition will be held until August 28 in both the Korea Art Museum and Hanwha Yongin Resort Exhibition Hall. For inquiries please call (031) 283-6418

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