Printmaking exhibition offers glimpse into Serbia
By Yi Whan-woo
A contemporary Serbian printmaking exhibition is underway in Korea to mark the 30th anniversary of bilateral relations.
The exhibition, titled "Imprinted in time," will run until Nov. 9 at Art at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies (AAIPS) Gallery in downtown Seoul.
The exhibition, which opened on Oct. 29, features 44 works by 26 Serbian artists — 13 professors and 13 students — from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade.
The 44 pieces have different themes. They were created within the past five years by using various techniques such as linocut, lithography, mezzotint and woodcut among others.
The art institution is continuing a longstanding tradition of Serbian printmaking dating back to the medieval period.
Organizers hoped the works will help raise awareness of graphic art of the Balkan state.
"Today is a very important day," Serbian Ambassador to Korea Zoran Kazazovic said during the opening ceremony at the gallery on Oct. 29, noting that the exhibition is the first of its kind in Korea.
"The exhibition gives an opportunity to the Korean public to become acquainted with examples of contemporary Serbian graphic production."
Kazazovic referred to Korea as a country with "a prominent global position" in contemporary graphic art, and that it was an honor to be able to present the Serbian art pieces "in such an excellent environment."
"I hope the prints you will see will provoke your emotions and contemplations, and that you enjoy their messages," he said.
Kazazovic said a history characterized by the invasion of foreign powers, preservation of statehood, culture and language, love of freedom and commitment to independence has brought the two countries together despite their geographic distance.
"We keep on working hard to elevate our partnership to a new level and expand bilateral cooperation in even more areas," he said.
Among the dignitaries at the reception were Asan Institute for Policy Studies Chairman Han Sung-joo, Dean Dimitrije Pecic of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, ambassadors and other members of the diplomatic corps.
Han, a former foreign minister and ambassador to the U.S., said Korea and Serbia still have much to learn about each other, including culture.
"For this reason, I am very happy that, today, we are opening this gallery for an exhibition of Serbian printworks," he said. "We are very thankful to the Serbian Embassy in Seoul for giving our gallery an opportunity to serve as the venue of the exhibition."
Pecic is one of the 26 artists participating in the exhibition. He visited Korea last week to represent them.
He explained that printmaking has been developing "with more intensity and at a greater pace than ever."
Such development, he noted, made graphic art an inseparable part of today's life and various visual content.
"These latest innovations, the increasing fusion of graphic art with other media, and the introduction of new technologies enable students to generate complex works, requiring a more varied approach to the education of graphic art," Pecic said.
One of his 2016 works, "A view from the window," was among the organizers' favorites, including many that are untitled.
Serbia and Korea established diplomatic ties on Dec. 27, 1989.
In cooperation with diplomatic missions in Seoul, AAIPS has hosted exhibitions of different countries as part efforts to help expand Korea's public diplomacy.