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Gallery Hyundai
122 Sagan-dong, Chongro-ku,
Seoul 110-190,
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Soo Keun PARK biography | artworks | events

1914 February 21 (January 28, by the Lunar Calendar).
Park Soo Keun is born to a relatively wealthy Christian household in Jeongrim-ri, Yanggu myeon, Yanggu County, Gangwon Province.
1926 (Age 12) Park encounters a reproduction of J. F. Millet’s L’Angelus and is deeply impressed by it.
1927 (Age 13) Graduated from Yanggu Elementary School but was unable to continue his education beyond elementary school because of difficult financial circumstances.
1932 (Age 18) A watercolor painting Spring Has Come, which depicts a farming household in spring times, is accepted and wins a prize in the Western Painting section of the 11th Joseon Art Exhibition (Seonjeon) in Seoul. Park fails to earn admissions to the exhibition from 1933 to 1935.
1936 (Age 22) Park submits his watercolor painting Working Women to the 15th Joseon Art Exhibition. 1937 (Age 23) Park is accepted to the 16th Joseon Art Exhibition with Spring, a watercolor painting of girls fathering wild greens.
1938 (Age 24) Park is accepted to the 17th Joseon Art Exhibition with his first oil painting Farm Woman.
1939 (Age 25) An oil painting titled A Spring Day is accepted to the 18th Joseon Art Exhibitions. This work was based on his watercolor painting Spring Has Come, which was exhibited at the 11th Joseon Art Exhibition.
1940 (Age 26) February 19. Park marries Kim Boksoon at the Keumsung Methodist Church. In May, he leaves for Pyeongyang to assume the position as a clerk at the Social Affairs Division of the Provincial Office of South Pyongan. An oil painting of A Woman Turning the Millstone is accepted to the 19th Joseon Art Exhibition.
1941 (Age 27) In September, Kim Boksoon moves to Pyeongyang for Park Soo Keun. Despite the dire financial circumstances, the couple spends a blissful newlywed life.A Woman Turning the Millstone is accepted to the 20th Joseon Art Exhibition.
1942 (Age 28) Park’s first son Sungso is born in the spring. A Mother and a Son, which is modeled after his wife embracing his lovely first born child, is accepted at the 21st Joseon Art Exhibition.
1943 (Age 29) A Woman Reeling a Yarn, also modeled after his wife, is accepted to the 22nd Joseon Art Exhibition.
1945 (Age 31) He resigns from his clerk position at the Provincial Office of South Pyongan and returns to Keumsung as an art instructor at Keumgsung Middle School.
1952 (Age 38) Park takes the position as a portraitist at the PX of the Eighth US Army (presently the site of Shinsegae Department Store) at a better rate.
1953 (Age 39) With the money saved, Park buys a small shack in Changshin-dong. He continues to paint in the limited space. Park submits his works to The 2nd National Art Exhibition, which resumed after the end of the War. In the Western painting section, A Cottage near the Well won a special prize and Street Scene also gets accepted. 1954 (Age 40) His works Landscape and Mortar are accepted to the 3rd Korean Fine Art Exhibition. He shows Mountain and On the Road at the 4th Anniversary Exhibition to observe the outbreak of the Korean War held by the Fine Arts Association, Korea. He quits his portrait painting job at the PX and concentrates on his paintings. He exhibits his works at the Seoul Artists Exhibition. Other participating artists include Byeon Youngwon, Lee Sooauck, and Cho Byunghyun among others.
1955 (Age 41) Afternoon is accepted to the 4th Korean Fine Art Exhibition. Park submits Two Women (recipient of National Assembly Culture & Communications Committee Awards), Street Scene, and Mountain to the 7th exhibition of Fine Arts Association, Korea.
1956 (Age 42) Tree is accepted to the 5th Korean Fine Art Exhibition. Park’s small works begins to attract collectors, mostly foreigners, at the newly opened Bando Gallery in Bando Hotel (presently the site of Lotte Hotel). His works earn the reputation for its faithful depiction of subject matters and emotions that are true to Korean spirit.
1958 (Age 44) Pedestrians on the Road, purchased by Ceila Zimmerman, the founder of Bando Gallery, shown at the exhibition, The Art of East and West, organized by UNESCO committee of the U.S. in San Francisco. Mother and Child, Street Scene, and Landscape shown at the exhibition of Korean and Japanese paintings at the World House Gallery in New York.
1959 (Age 45) Participated in the 8th Korean Fine Art Exhibition as a recommended artist with Leisure Time and Seated Woman. Invited to the 3rd Contemporary Artists’ Exhibition, organized by Chosun Daily News (Chosun-Ilbo) for Spring, Woman Resting, and An Old Man and Children Playing.
1962 (Age 48) Appointed to the judging committee at the 11th Korean Fine Art Exhibition. Exhibited Children and a Bull (currently in the Hoam Museum Collection). Showed Tree at the International Free Art exhibition held in Tokyo, Japan. Held a special solo exhibition of his art at the library of the U.S. Air Force base in Osan. His artistic status becomes higher by day and his granitic surface technique and expressive internality reach their apex, but his living status stays poor.
1965 (Age 51) Hospitalized at the Seoul Adventist Hospital as his condition worsened due to cirrhosis of the liver and coagulation of blood. Left the hospital on May 5th and died at his home in Jeonnong-dong at 1 AM on May 6th with the following last words: “I thought heaven was close, but it is so far, far away…” Buried in the cemetery of Dongshin Church, Pocheon, Kyungki-do. Children on the Yard, shown posthumously at the 14th Korean Fine Art Exhibition. 79 of his works were exhibited at the Information Center in Sogong-dong in October.
1970 Solo exhibition of Park’s small works at Gallery Hyundai. About 200 watercolor paintings and pencil sketches and 20 oil paintings were exhibited. 1974 Exhibition of his prints at Baekrok Gallery.
1975 10th Memorial Exhibition of Park Soo Keun at Munhun Gallery.
1978 Retrospective exhibition of Park Soo Keun at Munwha Gallery.
1980 October 20. Honored with the decoration of the Order of Culture by the Korean government.
1985 Twentieth Memorial Exhibition of Park Soo Keun at Gallery Hyundai. Youlhwadang publishes a catalogue of Park’s works. 1990s
1995 Thirtieth Memorial Exhibition of Park Soo Keun at Gallery Hyundai.
1999 Exhibition entitled Our Artist, Park Soo Keun was held at Samsung Museum of Art.
2002 Selected as Cultural Figure for May, 2002 by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Inauguration of Park Soo Keun Museum in Yanggu with the exhibition The Life and Art of Park Soo Keun.
2004 Moves the grave of Park Soo Keun to Yanggu. Exhibition entitled Park Soo Keun and the Artists from His Era, was held at Park Soo Keun Museum in order to celebrate the donations of CroakerFish by Park Myungja, the president of Gallery Hyundai.
2005 Exhibition entitled Again, Spring Comes opened to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Park Soo Keun’s passing away.
2010 In May, in order to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Park Soo Keun’s passing away, the exhibition entitled Park Soo Keun: The Painter of Our Spirit opens at Gallery Hyundai with the sponsorship of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism


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