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Artist Soun HONG won the 17th LEEINSUNG ART PRIZE

2016-11-21 l Hit 1167

Interview

Artist Soun HONG won the 17th LEEINSUNG ART PRIZE


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Artist Soun HONG won the 17th LEEINSUNG ART PRIZE © Hyo-won Kim
 
 
 
57-year-old artist Soun HONG won the 17th LEEINSUNG ART PRIZE this past November 4th. The LEEINSUNG ART PRIZE was created by Daegu city in 1999 to celebrate artist Insung LEE’s oeuvre and artistic spirit. The award committee praised artist Soun HONG by saying, “Soun HONG is a leading artist who has been expanding the concept of painting through his work, and continues to create unique, experimental pieces. Therefore, he fulfills the purpose of the prize the best.”
 

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‘Montpellier. May 29. 2013’, 2013, Oil on canvas, 182 x 254cm
 
 
 
After receiving the award, artist Soun HONG shared the following thoughts, “I have been lucky with receiving awards lately. I received the Jeon Hyuck Lim ART PRIZE last year and was awarded the LEEINSUNG ART PRIZE this year. Actually, the act of artists being awarded is kind of an awkward thing, since each artist is just speaking for him or herself, and they are being ranked. It is like deciding which of four things is the most beautiful: a rose, a deer, a star, or a misty fog.”

He added, “Moreover, awards invigorate the people who receive them, while at the same time lending a sense of comparative degradation to the people who do not receive them. This fact weighs on my mind all the time. However, receiving an award is exciting for me, since it proves that there are many people who share my sensibility and values. I felt much more relieved to know that I was not just talking to myself through my work and that I can keep pursuing what I have been going after all my life.”
 

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‘Marseille. oct 28. 2010’, 2011, oil on canvas, 260 x 194cm 
 
 
He added, “Besides that, it is gratifying that I will receive prize money. I can work for about a year without worrying about the costs of creating work.”

Artist Soun HONG recently visited Rwanda, Africa. In Rwanda, he observed the people and society carefully with his sensitive artistic feelers.
 

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 ‘Kandahar. April 2. 2009’, 2012, oil on canvas, 89.5 x 145.5cm
 
 

“I recently returned from Rwanda. Rwanda is the country where the Rwandan genocide (a large-scale massacre that is carried out in order to eliminate certain members of certain groups, due to conflicts caused by things like race or ideology) occurred in 1994. The number of victims is equal to the number of Jews who were killed by the Germans in three to four years, and it is a sixth of the entire population of the country, which is five million and eight-hundred thousand people. Since they need to keep on living after the massacre, they have to work with co-workers who killed their fathers and live beside neighbors who killed their husbands. I have been reflecting a lot to come up with ways that art can help that kind of extreme situation. I hope the results of my reflection will eventually come through in my work.”
 

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‘Wardak. Aug 3. 2009’, 2009, Oil on canvas, 180 x 305cm 
 
 
Moreover, these days, the ‘Choi Sun Sil Scandal’ has shocked South Korea and the public has been going out to protest against the president. The artist has a lot on his mind about the role of art in this kind of era. “There are moments when art is very important to human beings. However, in this day and age, making art is an odd thing to do. Therefore, I cannot even tell my acquaintances to visit my show when I am holding an important exhibition,” explained the artist.
 

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 ‘Greenboro. May 28. 2010’, 2011, Oil on canvas, 91 x 73cm 
 
 
 
Since the Sewol ferry disaster in 2014, artist Soun HONG has been creating three-dimensional work, called ‘Ordinary Monuments,’ using abandoned objects found near Paengmok Port. The artist said that he will continue to make work that reflects social phenomena and raise his voice about the issues. 

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A scene of exhibition ‘Side scape’, 2005~2014, 1,700 pieces at 18 x 14cm each
 
 
 
“The LEEINSUNG ART PRIZE commemoration exhibition will be held on the 4th of November next year and I am planning to display not only my existing work but also the ‘Ordinary Monuments’ pieces and some other work that delivers social messages on a large scale. However, the work will not convey its messages directly, and will reflect on things like human beliefs and the nature of cause and effect.”
 

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 ‘Aquarium - 1402’, 2014, Oil on canvas, 420 x 650cm 
 
 
 
The artist majored in art education at the College of Education at Busan University and graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts. He has been creating the following series of work; ‘Side Scape,’ painted using cut pieces of press photographs; ‘Le Droit de rêver,’ created through collaborations with children; and ‘Ordinary Monuments,’ which deals with the Sewol ferry disaster. 


Written by Hyo-won Kim, a Journalist at Sportsseoul, eggroll88@hanmail.net
Photographed by artist Soun HONG
2016. 11. 25 ⓒKorean Artist Project
Text and images may not be reproduced, reprinted, or redistributed without express consent. 

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