Korean Artists Depict John Paul II as Apostle of Peace

Vatican Exhibition of Panoramic Photographs and Paintings on Silk

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VATICAN CITY, AUG. 22, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Three Korean views of John Paul II have resulted in an artistic exhibition in the Vatican entitled «The Pope, Apostle of Peace.»

The free exhibition will be open until Aug. 31 in the Braccio di Carlo Magno exhibition hall, located on the left in St. Peter’s Square.

The photos and the oil paintings on silk express the way Korean artists, who live in a country divided by war, see John Paul II as an apostle of peace.

There are three sections in the exhibition. The first includes selected works of Korean artist Han Jang Hyeun (1941-2002). There are three oil paintings on silk of the Pope’s face. «The majority of visitors think it is a photograph due to its realistic character,» one staffer at the hall told ZENIT.

Artist Han Jang Hyeun died of a heart attack shortly before finishing the last portrait of John Paul II. Among his most famous portraits are those of Winston Churchill in 1957, Pope Paul VI in 1965, and several U.S. presidents.

The main part of the exhibition features giant photographs of photographer Nam-Sik Baik, a third-generation member of a Korean Catholic family. It includes 30 panoramic photos of the Vatican and of events attended by the Pope, especially in Rome but also in Korea and Poland.

One photograph, that of the celebration of the second centenary of Catholicism in Korea, in May 1984, brings together 1 million people in a single image.

Following the Vatican exhibition, the panoramic photos of Baik, also known as Bernardo, will be on display at the National Museum of Poland. The photos are 3 meters in length and 1 meter in height.

Seung-Eob King, organizer of the exhibition and manager of a graphic arts society, is featured in the last section. King has printed three portraits of the Pope on silk, thanks to a special printing technique carried out in his studio in Seoul.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Seoul, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, and several ecclesial entities of that Asian country.

In addition to some reproductions in silk of the Pope’s face which are on sale at the exhibition, the organizers told ZENIT that the panoramic photos can be reproduced upon request.

Also on sale are originals of Hyeun’s oil paintings on silk. The artist converted to Catholicism before his death.

For more information on the originals or special reproductions, a message may be sent to Nam-Sik Baik at se2006@korea.com.

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