Soohyang Soonyoung Lee (수향 이순영, 樹香李順英) is a distinguished Korean landscape artist who has held numerous painting exhibitions and have won numerous prestigious awards and prizes in Korea, Japan and Australia. Soohyang is her pen name.
Soohyang was born in Korea in 1934. Korea, especially the northern part, is a country with beautiful and magnificent mountains. Soohyang developed a passion in painting since her childhood. She graduated from Faculty of Oriental Painting, Seoul National University in 1959. Soohyang faithfully follows the Jinkyungsansu painting style which started in Joseon Dynasty by the artist Jeong Seon (1676-1759). Jinkyungsansu painting style shows mountains with spiritual energy.
The landscape painting shows her remarkable skills in Jinkyungsansu painting style.
From 1955 to 1978 Soohyang studied privately under two maestros Professor Shimsan Noh Soohyun and Professor Jaedang Bar Ryum.
Soohyang is fond of painting waterfalls especially Bi Bong Falls (Bibong Waterfall). She painted Bi Bong Falls, Kumgang Mountain (금강산) as her major works three times in 1960, 1976 and 2002. Kumgang Mountain is Soohyang’s homeland.
The First Bi Bong Falls Painting (1960)
A narrow stream of water flowing down between the rough rocks. The painting has so much details that it looks like a photograph. The clever arrangement of light and shade creates a vivid three dimensional appearance of the rock textures and this fully portraits the magnificence of the waterfalls.
The Second Bi Bong Falls Painting (1976)
In 1976, Soohyang painted her Second Bi Bong Falls. She was awarded Silver Prize in New Japanese Fine Art Association in Tokyo in 1979.
The following is a photo of Bi Bing Falls. Soohyang’s paintings capture the spirit the waterfalls vividly.
In 1980 Soohyang and her husband Mr Lee Seong-June migrated to Sydney Australia and she continues her work with the natural scenes of Australia.
Soohyang loves her motherland in North Korea very much but because of political situation and travel restrictions she could not visit her hometown since the Korean War (1950-1953). Soohyang painted scenes of North Korea hometown from her childhood memories.
After leaving Korea for about twenty years, in 2002 Soohyang and her husband Seong-June visited Kumgang Mountains in North Korea. The photo below shows the lovely couple standing in front of the Bi Bong Falls in Kumgang Mountains.
The Third Bi Bong Falls Painting (2002)
The Third Bi Bong Falls was painted after their visit to Kumgang Mountains. This major work was created to praise the ineffable beauty of nature. In addition, the artist lamented over the painful and regrettable fashion of her North Korea motherland. In fact this is one of the best of Soohyang’s works.
In 2005 Soohyang painted a landscape painting called ‘My beloved Homeland’. She painted herself with her beloved husband climbing the steps while enjoy the scenes. The couple supports and encourages each other. This is the reason why Soohyang is so productive in fine art.
Other landscape paintings of Korea
Soohyang travelled widely in South Korea and she have painted many picturesque landscapes of Odaesan, Mount Sam Sun Am, Mount Gae Gol, etc.
Lee, Seong-June (2017), Soohyang’s Artwork, Hexagon
(수향 이순영 화백 서울시의회 초청 회고전 수향 이순영展 / SOOHYANG LEESOONYOUNG /樹香 李順英 / painting)