Sep 5, 2015 - Nov 15, 2015

Eight Views and Nine-Bend Streams of Gyeonggi : Mountains, Rivers, and People

Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art

The current exhibition displays paintings of celebrated scenic spots in Gyeonggi-do. It is a diachronic exhibition of artworks by both contemporary artists and painters of the Joseon Period (1392-1910). It is intended to provide visitors with an opportunity to view a collection of landscape paintings of Gyeonggi-do that can be said to be inspired by the Eight Views of XiaoXiang of modern-day Hunan Province and the Nine-Bend Stream of Mount Wuyi in Fujian Province, China, and to appreciate the wealth of landscape paintings of Gyeonggi-do from the early modern period to the present time.

Section 1: Leading scenic spots in Gyeonggi-do
Section 1 displays paintings of the Eight Views of XiaoXiang and the ‘Nine-Bend Stream’ of Mount Wuyi, which are said to be the forerunners of landscape paintings in East Asia. It also includes paintings of the Eight Scenic Views of Suwon and Bugye and the Nine-Bend Stream of Byeokgye in Gyeonggi province.

The Bagyeon Falls are located in Bagyeon-ri, north of Gaeseong, North Korea. Koreans have long regarded this waterfall as one of the most beautiful on the Korean Peninsula, along with Guryong Falls at Geumgangsan Mountain and Daeseung Falls at Seoraksan Mountain. During the Joseon Period, people referred to Bagyeon Falls, Seo Gyeong-deok (a Confucian scholar), and Hwang Jin-i (a famous gisaeng) as the three best-known phenomena of Songdo (currently Gaeseong): These waterfalls were depicted in a masterpiece of the same title produced by Jeong Seon (pen-name: Gyeomjae), and in a folk song famous among Koreans. This digital painting presents the refreshing sight of waterfalls and a beautiful pond.

Park Sang-ok, a Western-style painter, painted numerous objects associated with the country’s traditional folk culture and scenes characterized by its unique local atmosphere. Hwahongmun Gate and Banghwasuryujeong Pavilion are said to stand out among the Eight Scenic Views in Suwon. These special places have been the subjects of an uncountable number of photos, postcards, and paintings.

This stream with nine meanders originates at Samtaegol, Tongbangsan Mountain (height: 650m) between Seorak-myeon, Gapyeong-gun and Seojong-myeon, Yangpyeong-gun, and flows into the Bukhangang River. This painting depicts Byeokgyecheon Stream and the Seoul-Chuncheon Expressway when it was under construction.

Located in Yeoncheon, Taeryeongsipcheongwon House was inhabited by Heo Mok (pen-name: Misu1595-1682), a great scholar of the mid-Joseon Period. In the courtyard of the house, Heo created two gardens, namely, Sipcheongwon, which contained ten evergreen trees, and Goeseokwon, which contained a collection of bizarre-looking stones collected from nearby places.

Namhansanseong Fortress (location: Jungbu-myeon, Gwangju-si in Gyeonggi-do) was built during the Joseon Period. This is a winter scene of the fortress made with a traditional woodcut printing technique.


According to a story about Yongjusa Temple, Garyangsa Temple was founded in 854 (the 16th year of the reign of King Munseong of Silla), and destroyed during the invasion of the Qing Dynasty of China in 1636-1637. During the late Joseon period King Jeongjo (r. 1776-1800) relocated the tomb of his father Prince Sado from Yangju to Hwasan, and re-founded the temple so he could to pray for the everlasting peace of his deceased father there. King Jeongjo felt deeply sorry for his ill-fated father, who was executed at the order of his own father, King Yeongjo, at the age of 28. At that time, Monk Bogyeong’s sermon moved him so deeply that he decided to build a temple to console his deceased father’s spirit.

This painting of Silleuksa Temple in Bongmisan Mountain, Yeoju-si is a modernistic rendering of the ancient temple that was produced using a technique by which several coats of white lead and whitewash powder were applied to a canvas pre-coated with clay.

Section 2: Streams meandering through mountains
Section 2 displays paintings of mountains and rivers in Gyeonggi province. The topographical characteristics of Gyeonggi-do include mountainous areas in the northeastern area, low-lying plains in the west, and many valleys between the mountain ranges in the east. Water collected from the valleys forms into tributaries that flow into the river.

This painting depicts the late fall scenery of Yangsuri, where the waters of the Bukhangang River and the Namhangang River meet. The painting is characterized by subdued colors and a calm composition.

This painting depicts an apocalyptic landscape formed by a stream and waterfalls on a moonlit night. The use of charcoal creates an absolute darkness in which the moon shines all the brighter. The cascading waterfall creates a pleasant contrast with the darkness.

Section 3: Rivers flowing into the sea
The Hangang River is the fourth longest river in South Korea, while its estuary is the second largest in the country. As such, it would not be an exaggeration to say that most of the province is centered around its estuary. Section 3 consists of landscape paintings of rivers and the sea of the province made by famous artists of the Joseon period, such as Jeong Seon (pen-name: Gyeomjae) and Jeong Su-yeong (pen-name: Jiujae), and modern-day artists like Min Jeong-gi, Lee Eok-yeong, Mun Bong-seon, Kim Hye-ryeon, and Park Jin-hwa.

This work depicts the landscape near Aegibong Peak in Gimpo as it changes from daybreak to dusk.

This painting expresses the wish to visit the areas across the Imjingang River, which forms the border between the two Koreas. Kim’s atelier is actually situated a short way from the river, in Tanhyeon-myeon, Paju-si.

Section 4: People-formed villages and cities
From the 1960s on, many industrial facilities in Seoul were relocated to the areas surrounding Seoul, with the result that Gyeonggi-do ultimately became part of the Greater Seoul area during the process of industrialization and urbanization, as well as the world’s third largest metropolitan area. Section 4 exhibits paintings of people, villages, and urban areas.

The painting depicts a scene of a tranquil village in rural Yangpyeong after spring rain.

The villagers of Daechu-ri, Paengseong-eup, Pyeongtaek-si became embroiled in a dispute with the Ministry of National Defense over the relocation of the base of the U.S. Army 2nd Infantry Division to their area in 2008. This painting realistically portrays the last sight of a village whose inhabitants had lived there for many generations, but who were forced out to make room for the U.S. army.

This painting of the entrance to Danwon High School in Ansan was inserted in a newspaper article written on the first anniversary of the Sehwol Ferry Disaster, in which about 300 students and teachers of the school tragically lost their lives while on a trip to Jeju Island in April 2014.

Section 5: A divided country praying for reunification
The year 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the country’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule and the 62nd anniversary of the armistice agreement signed at the end of the Korean War. Under the dark shadow of a war that in theory has never ended, the artillery batteries of the two Koreas face each other from opposite sides of the DMZ, while their people look forward to reunification. Section 5 displays paintings depicting the state of permanent confrontation existing between the two countries and people praying for reunification.

The artist Jang U-seong strived to develop the country’s traditional Indian ink paintings and led the movement for the development of literati paintings focusing on the expression of the artist’s inner world in the country’s post-liberation period. This work depicting birds flying over the DMZ in the Paju area represents earnest wishes for the reunification of the two Koreas.

The piece portrays South Korean citizens who were born in the North holding a sacrificial rite for their deceased ancestors, whose tombs are in the North, at Mangbaedan, Imjingak near the DMZ during the Lunar New Year in 1995. Part of Geumgangsan Mountain is portrayed in the top right of the painting, while the artist himself is portrayed on its extreme right. The work is intended to represent young people’s earnest desire for the reunification of the Korean peninsula.

This painting is a result of sketches made by the artist during visits to various sections of the DMZ, which perhaps surprisingly has become a pristine reserve of numerous wildlife species.

This work expresses the hope of being able to make a trip to Europe through what is now North Korea and what was once the Silk Road after the country’s reunification. It also depicts various landmarks in North Korea, the Gobi Desert, and Mongolia, as well as Mt. Everest in the Himalayas, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, windmills in the Netherlands, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the route of the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art
Credits: Story

Exhibition in charge | Eunju Choi(Director), Wonmo Yang(Chief curator)
Exhibition Advisory | Seokju Jang(Poet, writer), Ji-noo Lee(Documentary writer), Yongtak Park(Professor, Gyeonggi University), Junhee Lee(critic of popular culture)
Exhibition planning | Bonsu Park(Curator)
Curatorial Assist | Hye-sun Han(Assistant curator), Song-a Oh(Assistant educator)
Support | Woochan Park(Senior manager, planning team), Chae-young Lee, Rokju Hwang, Kiyoung Choi, Gahye Yoon(Curator), Wonsu Shin, Kyeongwook Kim, Namgyu Ju, Manheung Jo, Jongwook Moon(Technical support)
Programs | Yoonseo Kim(Curator)
PR/Education | Cho-a Bang(Curator)
Education program | Jihyun Seo(Assistant educator)
Administrative support | Hyunkyung Lee, Seonghee Jeong, Jiyeon Lee, Sumi Jeong(Curator)
Project Support | PR & Marketing team of Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation
Exhibition Space Construction|Gyeonggi Total Interior
PR Signs|Dae-yoo Kim, B&B Design
Transport and Installation | Artplus
Painting replication | Young-sik Do, Dogapyogu

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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