After losing his parents and left hand to the Korean War, Park Dae Sung so loved art that by the age of ten he would rigorously and repeatedly copy ink-and-wash images and calligraphy from classic texts. This courageous young boy grew into an artist of visionary integrity, who, with deep gratitude to his artistic birthright, gracefully transcends imitation of his predecessors. Park Dae Sung achieves the traditional goal of the ink-and-wash painter—to reveal the fundamental core and character of a subject—through a skillful combination of classical modes of organization, calligraphic delineation, and influences from Korean, Asian, and Western masters.
The heartfelt reverence, thoughtful celebration, and exalted whimsy in Park Dae Sung’s paintings explore both his subjects and an artistic sensibility vast enough to encompass opposites such as gravity and buoyancy, scrupulous attention to detail and essential simplification, and sweet intimacy and awesome grandeur. Like the Chosŏn-era scholar-artists before him, Park has traveled extensively, including to the Diamond Mountains in the North, and along the Silk Road through China, the source of his calligraphic subjects. An heir to Korea’s “true-view” tradition, he lifts the real mountains, trees, houses, and vistas visited on his journeys into the artist’s land of benevolent, powerful beauty. His paintings of Kyŏngju capture the spirit of the capital of Korea’s Silla Dynasty and the heart of Korean Buddhism, without losing an ounce of the land’s earthy gravity.
This exhibition of Park Dae Sung’s work, presented in collaboration with the Korea Society, contains ink-and-wash paintings, calligraphy, and studies of pottery representative of this master of modern interpretation of traditional Korean ink painting.
A Deva King, 2010, Ink and Color on Paper, 96.5 x 93 inches