Wednesday May 3, 2006

Korean Sacred Images on Display

A 15-foot-long screen depicting the Annunciation, Visitation and other scenes from the life of Mary, Mother of Jesus, is the centerpiece of an art exhibit by Korean artist O-Sek Bang.

A 15-foot-long screen depicting the Annunciation, Visitation and other scenes from the life of Mary, Mother of Jesus, is the centerpiece of an art exhibit at the University of Dayton Marian Library Gallery that begins May 15 and runs through Sept. 15.

"Madonnas of the Morning Calm," an exhibit of 30 sacred images by Korean artist O-Sek Bang, is free and open to the public weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call (937) 229-4254 to view the display outside of normal operating hours. The Marian Library Gallery is on the seventh floor of the Roesch Library.

All of Bang"s work is in traditional Korean painting style — Korean color ink and Korean paper — and reflects her culture"s religious ethos. The characteristic trait of Korean painting is expression that is brief, to the point and leaves some blank area on the work. Spectators have latitude for thinking and are able to fill up the space, not with craftsmanship or technique, but with faith, according to Bang.

Bang"s deep devotion to Mary is reflected in the number of paintings she has created of the Holy Mother of Korea, several of which are included in this exhibit. In them, Mary is shown in traditional garments of a queen.

"O-sek Bang is one of the artists who sowed the seeds which contain the Korean sacred art," Woong-Mo Jung, from the Seoul Archdiocese, wrote in the foreword of Bang"s book, Holy Paintings of Korea. The collection of Bang"s paintings was published in conjunction with her exhibit of these works in 2001 in Seoul, South Korea.

Bang also carved a stone mural-relief of 103 Korean martyrs for the Saenamto Basilica in Seoul and has sculpted several bronze statues.

For media interviews, contact the Rev. Johann G. Roten, S.M., at (937) 229-4214. For more on the Marian Library, see http://www.udayton.edu/mary/gallery.html. Pictures are available on request.