|▲ Seogak Artist and Photographer Kim Bok-ryul aka Geumsan|
A record tells us that human beings started art 35,000 years ago when they drew animals on the walls of Altamiara Cave. Many scholars and artists have wondered why human beings practiced art and what were the meanings of it? Answers vary person to person. Some say because they were bored and needed to do something for fun since their stomachs were full after hunting and eating. Others say it is a means of expressing extraordinary events such as rituals. And some, like a South Korean seogak (woodcarving) artist and photographer Kim Bok-ryul, say because they wanted to create something beautiful.
"I am a pursuer of beauty. So I have pursued whatever that makes me feel beautiful for my entire life and it eventually led me to the world of art. I fell in love with beauty of bonsai in my 30s, of photographs in my 40s and of seogak from 5 to 6 years ago. Seogak is such a beautiful genre of art where drawings and letters are carved onto a wood in harmony" says Kim.
"Beauty alone cannot be beautiful. It is only beautiful when shared with others who must appreciate the work, recognize its meaning and value and show a little bit of respect, or a compliment if you like, to the creator. I once was so touched by my grandson who left his message on the guest book at one of my exhibitions that he was proud of me being his grandpa."
Kim spends a considerable amount of time in delivering the beauty of nature as it is onto photos. In order to do that, time and scenery are the vital. A perfect time and scenery for him is the moment where the power of nature gets its zenith.
Walking the path for the last 20 years, he has held twice of solo exhibitions, an invitational once and more than a hundred of group and art fairs home and abroad. It is praiseworthy that he won the 31st Grand Exhibition for Traditional Art in the category of seogak.
"The power of art, he says, comes from indulgence. And artists are those who make the world beautiful."
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