20 years later, Lee has drawn again the series of Oji-ri's farmers that he first painted in the 1980s. In this painting, the artist's friend Kim Ki-woon is standing on the ground where new leaves are sprouting. It is spring.
Critic's Note: Lee Jong Gu is an agrarian painter of our generation who has continually painted Korean rural life in its original form for the past twenty years. He is a painter who does not produce paintings that depict farmers and rural landscape romantically. He portrays the immanent anger, struggle as well as hopes that many farmers harbor with a critical sense of realism. The artist’s father who was a farmer, often becomes his chief motif and in order to efficiently embrace his father’s life, he uses rice sacks as his canvas. More recently, Lee’s artistic became much more liberated and flexible in all aspects including subject and form. Needless to say, this does not mean that Lee no longer deals with the problems of the rural communities; it just means that he has developed a larger perspective from which he views the Korean nation, as well as the problems that concern the environment and life in general. In addition, in order to reveal the inner thoughts of the Korean farmer in finer detai and more effectively, Lee has been on the constant lookout for new mediums in his pursuit to harmonize subject and form. By these attempts, he tries to incorporate vividly the sincere voice of the farmer into his works.
Artist's Education: 1986-1988 Inha Uinversity. Incheon, Korea. M.F.A., Arts Education. 1972~1976 Chungang University. Seoul, Korea. B.F.A., Painting
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