The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea proudly presents this special retrospective of the art and life of Song Soo-nam (1938~2013), the renowned Korean ink painter, featuring works newly donated by the artist’s family and Namcheon Memorial Society in 2014.
By actively cultivating a fresh perspective that combined contemporary aesthetics with the long tradition of Korean landscape paintings, Song Soo-nam gained widespread recognition as the premiere ink painter of his time. Driven by his lifelong passion for ink painting, he produced a long series of dynamic yet dignified works that embody a superb artistic style and directly reflect his innovative experimentation and endless modification of the genre. An irresistible spirit and energy emerges from the endless interplay of order, rhythm, and tension within his repeated brushstroke.
Song’s incessant search for new paths and possibilities for Korean art through ink painting was only made possible by his deep understanding of East Asian artistic philosophy and his advanced technical skills, attained through long hours of study and training. To fully appreciate his artistic trajectory, one must recognize his boundless spirit for experimentation and his inexhaustible will to reconcile his passion for creation with his own life.
To provide a true spectrum of Song’s diverse works, including his contemporary ink paintings, this exhibition includes representative works from each stage of his career, from the early 1960s to the 2000s. Given that each of these works represents a step in Song’s continuous path to “something Korean,” they may serve to rekindle our thoughts on the beauty of Korea and guide us towards the ultimate destination of Korean paintings.