People #1: Kyung Noh-Hyun, Portrait of an Artist

I was delighted to have been invited to attend the opening day of the Twelfth Solo Exhibition of KYUNG NOH –HYUN at the Korean Craft Museum in the city of Cheong Ju in South Korea on the 2nd of December 2008. The exhibition closed on the 7th of December 2008.

KYUNG NOH-HYUN is a South Korean artist who was born in Cheong Ju on the 20th of May 1943 and has lived there and in the surrounding area for most of his life. He is a widower with two sons and two grandchildren.

His schooling was in Seoul. He then attended Yonsei and Hongik universities-which are also in Seoul-studying Culture and Education. Other courses have been successfully completed -Art Design, Poetry, Photography, Writing and Painting. He is a published Poet and Essayist.

He was employed for ten years as a Kindergarten Administrator followed by seventeen years in the world of business and commerce whilst combining his artistic activities. He has been a full time artist since 1984 devoting his time to painting and photography.

His voluntary activities include being a society member of Cheong Ju National Museum, contributing to a regional newspaper and counselling work with teenagers.

KYUNG NOH-HYUN started painting at an early age which was at the end of the Korean War and before starting school.

His inspiration is derived from nature, the universe, people, the human body and living creatures. The innovative approach combined with a more traditional style makes his output interesting. He is passionate about his work and has a great belief in his own ability. The current number of sales of his work are in double figures.

KYUNG NOH –HYUN has had twelve solo exhibitions. The first was in 1971 in Cheong Ju. A further ten then followed in Seoul, Pundang and Cheong Ju between 1975 and 2008. His twelfth was in Cheong Ju in December 2008.

He has contributed to exhibitions with fellow artists in Korea on more than fifty occasions. The most recent was at Cheong Ju Art Centre on the 15th of December 2008. I was fortunate to be present.

This particular Solo Exhibition which opened on the 2nd of December 2008 displayed two hundred and fifty paintings and fifty photographs.

As a semi-professional photographer I began with the photographs. Landscapes and Flora were in abundance. Other subjects included Female Nudes, Footwear and Stones. Vibrant colours, subdued tones and good composition were in evidence. The poses of the nude models allowed the natural beauty of the female form to be seen.

The paintings highlighted KYUNG NOH-HYUN’s use of Water-colour, Acrylic and Oil.

I was immediately drawn to three canvases. The first two were Water-colours of persimmon on white backgrounds. The third was in Oil of a decorated white porcelain vase and pomegranates on a wooden table. The vase appeared translucent. The actual vase is a listed National Treasure of South Korea.

The paintings exhibited varied in subject matter. There were orbs, female nudes, landscapes, still life, animals, birds and many just with an abundance of mixed colours with no symmetry or format. Let me describe some of them to you. There was a graceful bird in flight, a painted vase on a table, persimmon, a female nude in subtle water-colour, an orb, a landscape in Vietnam, colours fighting for space and one that looked like a vanilla ice cream that was covered with a blaze of small pieces of colourful confectionary.

The colours used were also varied. There were reds, blues, greens etc. some very strong and bold whereas others were more subtle according to the subject matter. The water-colours seemed the subtlest of all of them. Appropriate choices of frames and mounts enhanced those paintings they were surrounding.

The canvases and photographs were offered for sale for between £25.00 and £5000.00. Sizes also varied from between 11 inches by 15 inches to 58 inches by 45 inches.

People are generally quite subjective when it comes to choosing paintings and photographs because of colour, subject matter and size. My own personal favourites, already mentioned, wouldn’t necessarily be the next persons.

I am not a painter but I appreciate the use of colour, texture, subject matter and skill. That is why I enjoyed KYUNG NOH-HYUN’s exhibition a great deal. I have no doubt that other guests and members of the public who have visited the exhibition will have enjoyed the experience as much as I did. It was neither “Eastern” nor “Western” but presented an artist’s ability to express himself through his talent.
KYUNG NOH-HYUN’s ambition is to be recognised as an artist of international renown and is hoping that some of his canvases will be exhibited in Great Britain in the future.

For more details please contact Kyung Noh-Hyun: 010 9460 6888 or


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