Go to contents

Four different colors of India drawn by four painters

Posted March. 19, 2020 07:54,   

Updated March. 19, 2020 07:54


Kang Gyeong-gu, Kim Seong-ho, Kim Eul and Ahn Chang-hong went on a 17-day “sketch journey” to India early this year. Travelling through Jaipur, Jaisalmer and the Thar Desert, the four best friends in their 60s visited markets and streets off convenient tourist attractions to see the lives of the poor. After spending time together during the day, the artists went into their own rooms at night to draw. The drawings are now on display at Boan Inn, Tongui-dong, Seoul’s Jongno District.

“Well of Rajasthan” opened on Wednesday at “Artspace Boan 1,” whose walls of the old building built in 1942 make the drawings come alive. It is also fun to see four different interpretations of the same scene.

“When we traveled in India, it was the coldest winter in India in 121 years,” said Ahn Chang-hong. Among the drawings are the Grim Reaper in an ox mask wielding a knife and a self-portrait where he is shedding black tears. Ahn explained that the drawing portrayed him letting out impurities out of his body after reflecting upon his life and feeling regrets in a new environment.

The walls of the hallway leading up to the second floor are covered by Kang Gyeong-gu’s “18 hours,” which depicts the most draining part of the journey. The four artists spent 18 hours sitting and standing in a third-class train carriage because the first-class tickets they booked last minute got cancelled without any notice. It was a 900-kilometer trip from Jaisalmer to Delhi. “This painting is like a self-portrait that illustrates the emotions I felt on the train, while looking at the lives that resembled South Korea right after the Korean War,” Kang said.

The exhibition also features installations made by Kim Eul with ready-made objects and watercolors by Kim Seong-ho. Audiences can have a glimpse into the different images that the painters collected to create one work of art. The exhibition will continue until April 4.

Min Kim kimmin@donga.com