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9. Bamboo in Snow

Kim Gyu-jin (1868 - 1933)

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Bamboo in Snow
Kim Gyu-jin (1868 - 1933)
hanging scroll, ink on silk
painting alone: 51 x 15 inches (130 x 38 cm);
mounted: 82 x 20.5 inches (208 x 52cm)
seal: Haegang Kim Gyu-jin (top); Kim Gyu-Jin-in (bottom); Haegang (bottom)

About Kim Gyu-Jin [ho Haegang] (1868 - 1933)
The famous late Joseon literati painter Kim Gyu-Jin excelled at figural painting, calligraphy, and the decorative painting of the royal court, but is especially renowned for his literati works of plants on ink. He taught calligraphy and painting to King Kojong’s son, and in 1920, was commissioned by King Sunjong to paint a mural of Kumgang-san (Diamond Mountain). Though Kim’s style is traditional, he was instrumental in developing new Korean artists, founding one of the first modern art galleries in Seoul and creating a three-year training course for new artists. His works are in the collections of the National Museum of Korea (Seoul), the Ho-Am Art Museum, Changdok Palace, the Mary Burke Collection, and Harvard University’s The Arthur M. Sackler Museum.

Description of Bamboo in Snow
In this painting, Kim has depicted the bamboo heavily covered in white snow. He has rendered this effect by painting in the background with washes of ink while leaving the snow in unpainted areas of silk. The leaves of the bamboo are extremely painterly and evince a spontaneous energy through the sophisticated use of the flying white stroke. But the composition itself is superbly controlled with an effective positioning of the poem that cascades downward. This is one of the most exciting examples of bamboo among his oeuvre.

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