• Art

A Global Gala Event Art Exhibition

Bridge To Korea

Get Tickets
Wednesday 4/22 -
Tuesday 6/30

FOR FILMS AND EVENTS PRESENTED BY IHP, Tickets ARE Also Available From the IHP Box Office, which is normally open Tue-Sat from noon-8pm (or, for events outside of those times, from one hour before until one hour after the scheduled starting time).  
call 215.895.6590. 

Presented in partnership with the Da Vinci Art Alliance. On view through the end of June 2015, in IHP’s East Alcove on the Main Level.  

Artist Statements:
I paint wilderness. Because life is a wilderness. Those without directions live and die at the same place. Nevertheless, wilderness is beautiful for those who walk toward the future, as they always have dreams and visions. I strive to illustrate various lives of the wilderness. In the barren land, the acacia tree survived, deeply rooted there. It discovered the water of life with thanksgiving and joy. My painting started with the acacia tree I saw in Israel. The lives of people are depicted through the tree that grew so strong despite the harsh environment. They are the ones who desire freedom and peace.They are the ones who long for happiness in dreams and visions. No one can live alone in this world, but each person has to fight with oneself to survive. This is the message of the wilderness discovered through the painting. Someday, the wilderness will end. However, with the answer to life and vision for the future, we will realize that today is that day and all will become new around us. As an artist, I continuously seek to express this message. I am not the one who paints, but only following what it requires of me.

My first diary began like this: “The light purple rays of the sounds of the violin playing on the radio radiated towards me.” It was February 1977. I was seventeen years old. My hometown was Jong-Ro, the central part of the capital city, Seoul, which was being destroyed in accordance with our government’s Country Modernization Plan, begun in 1975. When I saw bulldozers breaking down houses one by one, I felt that the experience and significance of my teenage years were being torn down. The sorrows that I felt while watching the demolition of Jong-Ro filled many pages of my diary. This is how my adolescent years went by. 

Re-reading my diary over thirty years later, and reliving the moments captured in the pages – filled with happiness, sorrow, and even pain – was an absolute thrill. Today, the fifty-plus year-old me is now creating landscapes using the emotions I had felt as a teenage girl and recorded in my diary. Therefore, although I depict landscapes, those landscapes lie beyond the geographic imagery itself. I translate my diary into landscapes, so each landscape has its own story. I wish to express the love, hope and despair of my teenage years using rice papers and other papers I’ve decorated myself. As if seeking the forgotten and precious memories, I attach these papers on the canvas piece by piece.

The process of choosing colors, defining shapes and patterns of rice papers is not about creating something aesthetically pleasing. Rather, these are the means by which I reconstruct broken memories and seek to recover my feelings. Therefore, my paintings are dream-like and phantom-like, and provide clues to the turbulent and churning emotions of my youth. I orchestrate the colors and forms as soft and romantic musical pitches so that my diary landscapes become an elegiac portrayal of my state of mind. 

The title of the work with filigree is, “How many times did I wet my cheeks with the glow of the sunset,” and the title of the work with colorful landscape images  across nine panels is, “It excited me when it was gusty, rainy and thundering. So I sang, I knew there will be rainbow soon.”

These images represent the consolation, inspiration and rediscovery of my past, present and future. And my diary is still being continued.

Da Vinci Art Alliance is a public, non-profit 501(c)(3) artists’ organization located in South Philadelphia.The organization was founded in 1931 to serve the needs of professional artists and artisans in the Delaware Valley. Da Vinci currently has over 140 members and is supported through membership dues, gallery/studio rentals, sales commissions, grants, and donations. It holds exhibitions of members’ and non-members’ artwork as well as special events, workshops, performances, poetry readings, and lectures, and keeps its members informed on community events, news, and opportunities. The mission of the non-profit artists-run organization is to support its members and to further community-based arts, cultural, and educational exchanges.


This year, International House Philadelphia’s 54th Global Gala celebrates the culture and people of Korea! You’ll experience the soft glow of colorful paper lanterns floating overhead, savor traditional dishes flavored with the spicy kick of Korean BBQ, while the upbeat rhythms of K-pop electrify the dance floor.


The Global Gala is International House’s largest fundraising event of the year and a wonderful way to network and engage with leaders and innovators in the fields of business, government, philanthropy, science, academia, and the arts. It is also an exciting opportunity to meet some of our young international residents, who represent the next generation of leaders from around the world.  Don’t miss your chance to learn more about Korea’s rich history and culture through several events leading up to the gala, as well as the gala itself.