Yoo Youngkuk was a pioneer of Korean abstract art and Korean modern art in general. He began abstract art in the 1930s when he was a student at the Bunka Gakuin art school in Tokyo. Interacting with avant-garde artists and participating actively in Jiyu-ten and other societies, YYK was at the mainstream of Japanese modern art movement. After the liberation of Korea, YYK led Korean abstract art as the founder of Neo Realism Group and Association of Modern Artists along with Whanki Kim, Lee Kyusang, Han Mook, Hwang Yumsu and Park Kosuk. Mountain was his favorite motif and he earned the reputation as "the painter of mountains." Often he was admirably called as "the magician of colors" because of the bold usage of vibrant colors in his paintings. In his paintings, nature is presented in non-figurative forms using strong lines and colorful planes, and elements of the painting; vibrant colors, metaphysical patterns, and well-planned structural composition are all integrated into a whole that shows the sublimity and solemnity of nature and even makes one to feel the absolute beauty.