The Korea Herald


Park Young-ha's paintings inspired by traditional music on show at Helen J Gallery

By Park Yuna

Published : April 11, 2023 - 09:58

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An installation view of An installation view of "Local Songs: Park Young Ha" at the Helen J Gallery (courtesy of the gallery)

Korean artist Park Young-ha’ solo exhibition “Local Songs: Park Young Ha” at the Helen J Gallery in Los Angeles shows the artist’s lyrical approach to art. Park has been known for paintings that recall the traditional mud-plastered walls of Korean houses in rural areas.

Park has pursued paintings that feature matieres techniques, adding physical texture to a painting and using a mixture of materials such as fine sand, gold dust and stone powders. He layers them using metal scrubbers and other rustic tools. Park has been inspired by nature which is embodied in an abstract way.

“Over the course of months and years, his paintings acclimate to the colors and textures of their environment, adopting the browns and reds of oxidized metals, the dusty blues of nearby lakes and the beiges of aged plaster,” the gallery noted on his works. Born in 1954, Park graduated from Hongik University.

The exhibition at the gallery hints at Park’s other inspiration -- music -- a staple of Park’s daily routine. The free-form gestures of habitual oblong forms, punctuation marks or musical notations recall “scattered melodies” or sanjo, a type of Korean improvisational traditional music.

The Helen J Gallery specializes in Asian art and design, featuring programming and exhibitions geared towards embracing Asian culture and diaspora. The exhibition runs until May 20.