Woo Kuk Won - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in association with Yongle Hong Kong Tuesday, November 29, 2022 | Phillips

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  • “I try to reflect my 24 hours in my work.”
    —Woo Kuk Won


    Painted in 2020, I Hate Mornings A by Korean artist Woo Kuk Won depicts a child in a deep, heavenly sleep. The scene is framed within a thick grey border and shows an innocent, tired looking baby with his eyes closed, his mouth sightly opened, who lays next to a pony with a book by French psychiatrist Frantz Fanon in its hand. A quote, which some attribute to Ernest Hemingway, is painted in pastel baby blue at the foot of the bed, almost invisible over the light cream background. To realise his illustrations, Woo employs the impasto technique, which consists in applying dense layers of painting to the canvas, thick enough that the brushstrokes are visible and make the painting appear very textured, vibrant and almost animated. 


    In his works, the artist gives life to a lyrical, joyful world populated by his iconic features and characters: young children, cartoon animals, hand painted short poems and sentences. His oeuvre draws on candid emotions and simple pleasures, capturing glimpses of daily life on canvas through his remarkably genuine, direct and spontaneous visual language. With its fairy-tale atmosphere, I Hate Mornings A epitomises Woo’s signature aesthetic, a unique fusion of literature and painting which earned him the name of "Korean Basquiat”.   


    The present lot (highlighted in red) on display at the 2020 Art021 Shanghai Art Fair, presented by G Gallery

    Woo began his career as a brand designer in Japan, then eventually returned to Korea in 2009, making a name for himself in the Korean art scene. He was selected for the 32nd JoongAng Fine Arts Prize, one of Korea’s most important art awards. His works are in the collections of multiple international museums, including the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul and the Seoul National University Museum of Art. The artist now lives and works in Seoul. 

    • Provenance

      G Gallery, Seoul
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


I Hate Mornings A

signed 'w. kukwon' lower right
oil on canvas
162.2 x 130.3 cm. (63 7/8 x 51 1/4 in.)
Painted in 2020, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by G Gallery.

Full Cataloguing

HK$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for HK$478,800

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in association with Yongle

Hong Kong Auction 30 November 2022