A Closer Look At Lee Ungno's 'People'

People (1986) by Lee UngnoLee Ungno Museum

Lee Ungno started his People series in 1979 and continued it until his death. In the early series, people appeared as dancing figures in groups.

While the Series in the 1980s showed his canvases packed with hundreds and even thousands of human figures; such an enormous group of people was an expression of a collective force and will.

This painting shows a vast number of human figures; each figure is rendered in different postures...

...and different movements...

...and thus, the whole canvas seems to bustle. The Gwangju Massacre in 1980, which he learned about through Paris media, is said to have motivated Ungno to put his major focus on the Series.

However, the motions found in his canvas are not limited to gestures of anger and resistance.

They are seen as gestures of delight as well.

That is to say, the Series embodies universal human conditions rather than an intention to express a specific political affair.

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