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CHUNG CHANG SUP CHUNG SANG HWA HA CHONG HYUN KIM WHANKI KWON YOUNG WOO LEE UFAN PARK SEO BO
KIM Whanki (1913-1974)

KIM Whanki studied in Japan as a youth and spent most of his life working and living outside of Korea. As a painter belonging to the first generation of Korean artists devoted to abstraction, KIM Whanki developed a refined style of painting based on Korean lyricism, gaining recognition internationally as well as in Seoul. By the late 1930s Whanki had become a leading figure in the modern art scene in Korea, based on his promotion of abstraction, and by the 1950s he had cultivated a rich visual language with which to depict natural motifs of mountains, rivers, and the moon. He was most productive during his years in Paris, from 1956 to 1959. He later spent time in New York, and in 1963 he received an award at the 7th São Paulo Biennial. His works from the 1950s demonstrate a decidedly Korean sensibility communicated in a highly controlled manner. Later, during the late 1960s, his practice shifted to focus on expressing a more universal, nuanced world of inner mind coupled with formal elements such as points, lines, and planes.

Whanki’s works can be found in acclaimed collections around the world, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, and the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul. KIM Whanki died in 1974. The Whanki Museum was established in 1992 in Seoul, as a place to exhibit his major works and continue his legacy.