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Contemporary Korean prints

Gravures contemporaines coréennes Fleurs de camélia M1106_CER2023-12_001.png

This display can be seen at the Musée Cernuschi until 9 June 2024.


This spring, the Musée Cernuschi is offering visitors a chance to discover a selection of contemporary works from its collection of Korean prints in the Paintings room of its permanent collections.

HONG SEON WUNG (born in 1952)

Camelia flowers



142 x 121 cm

M.C. 2023-12. Gift of the artist, 2023. 

© Paris Musées / Musée Cernuschi, musée des Arts de l’Asie de la Ville de Paris

In 2023, the Musée Cernuschi received almost forty prints by Korean artists from several generations, in a wide variety of styles and techniques. A selection of works from this collection, along with other prints from the museum's collections, will be exhibited on a rotating basis in the room dedicated to the graphic arts in the permanent exhibition until June 2024.


Korean engraving: an art of cultural identity

Printmaking was the first tool used to disseminate texts and images on a large scale, and is most often perceived as an ancient form of creation whose relevance has been devalued by the gradual loss of its function as a means of reproduction, from the second half of the 19th century onwards.

In Asia, as in Europe, this field has been reinvested by visual artists who have profoundly transformed it, making it an artistic field in its own right, with its own techniques, its own standards and sometimes its own privileged vocabulary. Many Korean artists devote themselves entirely to printmaking or practise it alongside other activities.

Gravures contemporaines coréennes Composition pour l_affiche de l_exposition à la galeri

RHEE SEUND JA (1918-2009)

Composition for the poster for the exhibition at Lara Vincy Gallery



39.8 x 49.7 cm

M.C. 2018-20. Gift of Artworks Paris-Séoul gallery, 2018.

© Paris Musées / Musée Cernuschi, musée des Arts de l’Asie de la Ville de Paris


Several of them play on its association with past idioms to anchor their work in a relationship with the history and identity of the Korean peninsula. This enables them to revisit motifs conceived as symbolic of Korea, and in particular to evoke certain painful events of modern and contemporary times. They usually opt for woodcuts, which provide a sharp contrast between black and white, conducive to the creation of strong, immediately understandable political images.


The intimacy of the artist in printmaking

The exhibition also showcases other printmakers who have opted for a representation of today's world that is adapted to a wide range of technical and stylistic experiments, generating a multiplicity of effects.

This variety can also be found in many works based primarily on the exploration of a purely formal vocabulary or the expression of the artist's interiority. Engraving, with its modest means and often lengthy process, appears to be the ideal vehicle for an intimate art form.

LEE UN JUNG (née en 1987),

City Gimpo - night


Woodcut, monotype,

50 x 70 cm

M.C. 2023-43. Gift of the artist, 2023. 

© Paris Musées / Musée Cernuschi,

musée des Arts de l’Asie de la Ville de Paris

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Find out more: 


Musée Cernuschi

7 avenue Vélasquez

75008 Paris

Painting room, section 14


Tuesday to Sunday

10 AM to 6 PM

Free admission to the permanent collections

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