YOUN Myeung-Ro (1936)


Youn Myeung-Ro uses lines to create form, to depict undulating hills, flowing ground water, sheer cliffs in the depths of winter; a patchwork of coffee-coloured brushstrokes succeed in creating a mood permeated with Eastern aesthetics. He steeps his abundant expressive system in “line”, roams in a mountainous realm beyond appearances, and breathes with the universe to give visual expression to a kind of spiritual pursuit. Youn Myeung-Ro continues to follow with close interest the vitality of the “medium” and the persistent fluidity of colour and brushwork, allowing the tableau to develop a kind of living energy that pulsates with an eternal rhythm; emptiness and substantiality, the whole and the none, flat surfaces and a point of dispersal flood evenly into one work, one visual experience, creating form in a formless space, enlarging the borders of limitlessness within form, and enriching the visual experience of art.

Beholding Youn Myeung-Ro’s “mountainous forms” we sense a kind of still, deep natural flow of water emerging from the “short brushstrokes, connected by significance” that are his furrowed lines. Just as Cézanne continuously deconstructed the Monte Sainte-Victoire, Youn time and again surveys Mount Bukhansan just outside his window: clear rain from morning till night, scattering drops like strokes, his heart and brush are one, like the texture of white porcelain, driving forward the universal character and contemporary appearance of Eastern literati paintings.

In a change of direction from Western modernism to the East, Youn Myeung-Ro drifts in the sentiments and scenes of traditional literati landscape painting, yet also rebels against this fixed schema; this is the background to Youn’s art practice.

Excerpted from Traces of the Spirit on the Art of Youn Myeung-Ro, Fan Di’an, Director, National Art Museum of China.


1970 New York Pratt Graphic Center, Printmaking, New York, USA
1960 B.F.A. College of Fine Arts, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea



2016 Arario Gallery Shanghai, Shanghai, China
2014 Arario Gallery Seoul, Seoul, Korea
2013 National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
2010 National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
2009 Gana Art Busan, Busan, Korea
2009 Gallery Song House, Busan, Korea
2008 JangHeung Art Park Blue House, JangHeung, Korea
2007 Pyo Gallery, Seoul, Korea
2005 Gana Art Center, Seoul, Korea
2004 Shinsegae Gallery, Gwangju, Korea



2014 THEN AND NOW: Celebrating 60th Anniversary of the National Academy of Arts of the Republic of Korea, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art-Deoksugung, Seoul, Korea
2013 Zeitgeist Korea, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art-Seoul, Seoul, Korea
2013 SCENES vs SCENES, Buk Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
2013 Writing Becomes Painting, POSCO Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
2013 50 Years of Korean Contemporary Printmaking, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Manila, Philippines
2013 LEE Dooshik: Expression, Color & Abstract , HOMA Hongik Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
2012 Cogitation on Korean Modern Art, Pohang Museum of Steel Art, Pohang, Korea
2012 Dansaekhwa: Korean Monochrome Painting, Jeonbuk Museum of Art, Wanju, Korea
2012 Dansaekhwa: Korean Monochrome Painting, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
2011 ABSTRACT IT!, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art-Deoksugung, Seoul, Korea