Celebrate Buddha’s Birthday with Unique Presentation of Mystic and Glamorous

Flushing Town Hall and the Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation will present an exhibition featuring the artworks of three contemporary Korean artists who have inherited and developed the spirit and traditional techniques of Goryeo Buddhist Paintings in April.

The works by Joy Rock, Chang Ho Kang, and Seoung Jo Hyun illuminate the renaissance in Korean fine arts during the Goryeo Dynasty. The new exhibition, “Mystic and Glamorous”, will run from April 22 to May 3 (which is Buddha’s birthday according to the Lunar calendar), and feature a lecture and demonstration displaying mastery of this traditional technique in Flushing Town Hall’s theatre on April 22.

“As our mission is to bring people together by presenting global arts programming our gallery and theatre, we welcome the opportunity to present these wonderful artists and guests who have traveled to us from around the globe,” said Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director at Flushing Town Hall. “We are delighted to host this magnificent and informative exhibition.”

“We hope Americans would have a chance to get to know and appreciate Goryeo Buddhist Paintings, as we plan to expand the exhibition to other cities in the United States,” said Jeeyoung Kim, Chairperson, Board of Directors, Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation. “The high quality of Goryeo Buddhist Paintings is already acknowledged, but during the Chosun Dynasty, its heritage did not continue. A small number of devoted artists are uncovering and reestablishing the genre.”

The art of the Goryeo Dynasty is represented by three distinguished genres: Goryeo Buddhist Painting, Goryeo Pottery, and Goryeo Sutra Transcribing Art. Though Goryeo Pottery is widely known, many people are unfamiliar with Buddhist Painting and Sutra Transcribing Art.

Goryeo was a Buddhist Kingdom that lasted 474 years (from 918 to 1392), and the people of Goryeo had a deep sense of faith in Buddhism and after a 30-year war against the Mongols the people of Goryeo returned to Gaegyeong and produced Buddhist paintings on silk with gold powder. The Buddhist paintings that remain today – about 160 pieces – are all works after Gaegyeong was reestablished as the capital of Goryeo in 1270.

All of those works were painted on top of silk canvasses and hung on walls with hanging poles. Unlike wall paintings, they had the advantage of being hung up only when necessary and were thus mobile. Goryeo Buddhist paintings involved the use of gold powder and the technique of coloring the back of the silk canvas. They are distinguishable by patterns of exquisitely drawn lines.

Hyeong Kuen Kim, Director, New York Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation, and Jeeyoung Kim, Chairperson, New York Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation, present Flushing Town Hall Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek with a check to support Mystic and Glamorous: Exhibition of Goryeo Buddhist Painting. Made possible by generous support from the Foundation, the exhibit features the work of contemporary Korean artists Joy Rock, Chang Ho Kang, and Seoung Jo Hyun. The exhibition opens on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 5:00 PM at Flushing Town Hall’s Gallery. Pictured (l to r): Hyeong Kuen Kim; Ellen Kodadek; Jeeyoung Kim; and, Suechung Koh, exhibition curator.

The three artists whose works will be presented at Flushing Town Hall this Spring have long and distinguished careers focusing on Buddhist Painting. They all received Masters in Fine Arts in Buddhist Painting at Yongin University, currently serve in research roles, and have had their works awards – presented in solo and group exhibitions.

An opening reception will be held on Saturday, April 22 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Admission is free though there is a suggested $5 donation. Further details are available at www.flushingtownhall.org or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222. Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot – located a short distance from the 7 train – at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in Flushing, Queens.

This season, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers – for FREE. Under the new “Teen Access Program”, all 13- to 19-year-old boys and girls (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture.

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