By Ogova Ondego
Published September 23, 2013
Kim Cha-Woo, the Ambassador of South Korea to Kenya, is on September 28, 2013 set to open a month-long exhibition of a South Korean artist, Eunju Nam, at the Ecology Gallery of the Nairobi National Museum.
“What is striking about Eunju Nam’s work is the subjective use of colour to express the energy in her subjects and environment. The influence of 20th Century European artists such as Henry Mattisse, Chagall, Duffy and Monet, her favourite artists, is evident as well as Van Gogh in her colours and brush strokes,” Mwaura Ndekere, a Lecturer of Painting and Ceramics at Kenyatta University, writes in the flyer of the exhibition that runs September 28-October 24, 2013.
“A casual look at her paintings,” continues Ndekere, an artist who also chairs the Kenya Arts Exhibition Committee, “leaves the viewer thinking that the colours are raw and done in a hurry but upon closer observation one realises that she is more interested in the energy and psyche of the Kenyan scenery and people. She creates tension by use of warm, vibrant colours pulsating with energy. She expresses the Kenyan by symbolically using the warm/hot palette. The skies are strikingly red or yellow, perhaps reminiscent of the African sunsets. Her subject matter or content is very empathetic to the Kenyan situation and she paints as one. Her Maasai are contemporary and wear modern clothes. They do not dress up for her but they go about their lives and she truthfully captures their reality today.”
Eunju Nam, who says she started painting at 15, won the first prize in a national competition which resulted in her receiving a full scholarship to study art at Young Nam University in South Korea from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1980 and a Master of Fine Arts six years later. She then became a Lecturer of Fine Arts (oil painting and creative art) at Dong-Ah University in South Korea for eight years.
When Eunju Nam visited Kenya for the first time in 2001, she is said to have been so impressed by the people and scenery of Kenya that she began a collection of oil paintings on the country and went on to hold a solo exhibition of Kenyan paintings in South Korea in 2008.
Eunju Nam, a painter and academic who has been on art tours to England, Ireland and Kenya, has exhibited her work in South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and USA.
Meanwhile Kuteveva: Blurred Perspectives, an exhibition of works by Kuona Trust resident artist Sarah Schoderer, opens on September 26, 2013 at 6.00 pm and runs through October 1, 2013.
“The work on display,” Kuona Trust says, “reflects our daily life in a commercialised society as well as the artist’s personal impression of time.”