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‘Barley field artist’ Lee Sook-ja holds a solo exhibition

‘Barley field artist’ Lee Sook-ja holds a solo exhibition

Posted October. 25, 2022 07:46,   

Updated October. 25, 2022 07:46


“Sometimes I feel burdened as I always draw the same paintings, but what can I do? I just want to draw barley fields.”

Lee Sook-ja, an artist famous for drawing barley fields, is coming back with her solo exhibition in six years. Lee introduced her paintings with a shy smile in her solo exhibition, which started last Wednesday at the Sun Gallery in central Seoul.

The 80-year-old artist showcased 40 of her paintings, including three pieces she painted this year, all barley fields. Although she drew ‘The Barley Field with Pink Long-legged Flowers’ and ‘Blue Barley - Green Fog’ in 1981 and 2012, respectively, she remade them as she didn’t like them much. “I considered destroying them, but I cannot leave my children behind because they don’t meet my expectations," she said. "I would like to ask you to regard these paintings as a collaboration between ‘today’s me’ and ‘past me.’”

In the exhibition, the disciple of Cheon Kyeong-ja (1924-2015) showed her 50-year-of-paintings, allowing people to view her work from 1980. Her major work ‘Eve’s Barley Field 90-6 (1990),' which depicts a naked woman lying on a barley field, is still candid 32 years after the painting caused considerable controversy for being too explicit.

Lee is currently focusing on self-portraits. She draws her bare body and face every day in front of a mirror. ‘The Portrait of Myself in a Blue Hat (2019)’ looks lovelier than the real me, so I am trying to draw another self-portrait with the mindset of not minding to be looked at,” she said.