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Book cover of So Distant, So Near, Ji-Young Demol Park – Lee Lee Nam, with painting of mountain, and bowl vase below. Published by 5 Continents Editions.

So Distant, So Near

Ji-Young Demol Park – Lee Lee Nam

Edited by Laure Schwartz-Arenales
Text by Pierre Cambon
Text by Philippe Clerc
Text by Karelle Ménine
Text by Ji Young Demol Park
Text by Lee Lee Nam
Text by Maël Bellec


  • This volume offers a unique point of view on the work of two contemporary Korean artists, Ji-Young Demol Park and Lee Lee Nam
Full Description

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and South Korea, this volume offers a unique point of view on the work of Ji-Young Demol Park and Lee Lee Nam. The evocation of nature unfolds through connections interwoven over the centuries between culture and objects, materials, colors, and motifs. Jade- and pine-colored decorated ceramics, cobalt oxide for the horizon, porcelain white as snow or the moon, all feature in the work of both artists, their gazes meeting and reflecting in the landscapes of a great painter of old, Jeong Seon (1676-1759). Despite all their differences, the mountains rendered in ink by Ji-Young Demol Park and Lee Lee Nam’s virtual landscapes are truly united by the uniqueness of their relationship with this cultural heritage as well as the strength of their individual universes, oriented towards the re-enchantment of nature.

Text in English and French.

About the Author

Laure Schwartz-Arenales has a degree from the École du Louvre and a doctorate from the Paris-Sorbonne University. She began her career at the Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet and at the École du Louvre where she taught Far-Eastern Art. In 2007, the Kajima Foundation for the Arts gave her an award for her research on Japanese painting (Tōhoku University, Kyoto National Museum). She was a professor at Ochanomizu University and then at Sophia University (Tokyo), and since 2018 she has been the director of the Fondation Baur, Musée des Arts d'Extrême-Orient in Geneva. Pierre Cambon was responsible for the Korean collection of the Musée national des arts asiatiques - Guimet (1992-2022) and has curated a number of exhibitions, for which he also wrote the catalogs: Nostalgies coréennes (2001); Itami Jun (2003); La Poésie de l'encre (2005); Cinq siècles de peinture en Corée (2015). A consultant for the World Heritage Center, he has carried out missions in Pyongyang (1999-2000) and was a cultural attaché at the French embassy in Korea (1988-1992). Philippe Clerc is an art historian with a degree from the University of Fribourg. He worked for the auction house Christie’s and later for a number of Swiss and international collectors. Specialized in Swiss painting from the 19th and 20th century, he does research on the artists from Geneva and Fribourg who were close to Ferdinand Hodler, a subject on which he has published several volumes. Karelle Ménine is a Swiss historian and writer based in Geneva. Her work explores her relationship with literature and archives through plays, essays and installations. Her two most recent works were published by MétisPresses: Bleuir l'immensité (2022) and Labor et Fides: Nimbe noir (2022). She is also the director of MétisPresses’s collection “ArchVives.” Ji Young Demol Park is an artist trained in Korea, France, and Switzerland. In 2012 she returned to her first expressive medium: drawing, water, and pigments. From the shores of Lake Geneva to the Alpine ridges, she offers us her vision of the mountains of her homeland, Korea. An en plein air painter, she never travels without her sketchbook, a scroll or a Leporello. With a vigorous mark and few washes, she records her emotions as she contemplates the world. Lee Lee Nam is acknowledged as one of the most important video artists of his generation. He was born in 1969 in Gwangju, in South Korea. He obtained a doctorate in fine arts from Chosun University where he studied sculpture, and a doctorate from Yonsei University's Graduate School of Communication and Art. An animation virtuoso, he reinterprets the greatest masterpieces of world painting. His approach to landscape painting is poetic and oneiric, a form of meditation, a revealing connection to the beauty of the world past and present.  Maël Bellec is the curator responsible for the Chinese and Korean collections of Musée Cernuschi. He has organized a number of exhibitions devoted to modern and contemporary art. He has curated or co-curated: The Lingnan School: The Awakening of Modern China; Seoul-Paris-Seoul: Korean Artists in France; Lee Ungno, l'homme des foules, Walasse Ting, le voleur de fleurs; Bang Hai Ja: Et la matière devint lumière; L'encre en mouvement: Une histoire de la peinture chinoise au XXe siècle, as well as the various editions of the video art program of Musée Cernuschi.

Five Continents Editions
6th May 2024
Paperback / softback
USA & Canada
8.27 in x 8.27 in
128 Pages
70 color
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