Saturday, November 4, 2017

Un-lim Sanbang, Sochi's Home

Un-lim Sanbang, surrounded by the evergreen forest of Mt. Jeom-Chal, is a place where the famous Ryun Hur lived and worked. A pond, a traditional house, and a garden attract many visitors annually. Ryun Hur (1808-1893), better known by his pen-name Sochi, was a scholar artist born to a yangban family but, rejecting his aristocratic roots, took up painting; he spent his later years working at Un-lim Sanbang and teaching his traditional painting skills to disciples. He introduced a more realistic style of painting and his school or style was followed by a number of traditional artists. The unique style of painting started by Sochi has been passed down through five generations, always through the fourth son, until the fifth generation, which only had two sons. I believe it is this second son which continues in the footsteps of his painting ancestors.

Un-lim Sanbang, Sochi's house - perfect tranquility for an artist!

The Sochi Memorial Museum just around the corner from Sochi's house houses a number of his paintings and those of his disciples. At the foyer to the museum is the five-generation painting legacy tree that shows the importance of birth and position -- all explained in yin-yang terms by the very elderly tour leader, who also explained that the temple nearby where we did templestay nestles near the lap of the mountain-woman. The woman is kind of obvious once it's pointed out. The very rolling hills of the area show the reclining position of a woman, her hips and breasts are obvious and valleys between are the geomantically beneficial places. The old man was quite graphic. The temple is positively positioned in the woman's region and Sochi's house and the museum are off to the side. I remember hearing a lot of geomantic tales when I first came to Korea in 1991 (Kwangju). It's too bad these local legends aren't being much documented. Culture is definitely being lost.

Sochi, the start of a five-generation artist family, a family that strongly influenced Korean art today
Sochi's school of art was based on realism, and the pictures in the museum show examples of each of the generation artists and how each influenced art in his era
This is my favorite artistic piece in the museum!
There were several I liked but the fan-shape plus combination
of realistic color and mountain structure with calligraphy really appeals.
I realize I didn't take notes on which of the five generations of artists created this piece :(
Anyway, the museum houses paintings, calligraphic works, drawings, historic records and other artifacts. One long display case really caught my attention: one half of the display showed tube paints and painting equipment of several decades ago, and the other half had an impressive display of calligraphy materials like brushes and very stylish stamps for completed artworks.

a collection of stamps for signing off on calligraphy, documents, art

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