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CITY CULTURE

Spiritual Views

February 14, 1993|DUKE HELFAND

In her acrylic paintings on leather and wood, artist Jaehwa Yoo translates the "aesthetics and spirituality of the Pansori," or Korean Shaman songs, an oral tradition handed down through generations of Korean culture.

"What I want to do in my paintings is bring together my love of nature and of common objects, and form images that will somehow conjure stories, songs, dreams and memories . . . that are about gods and spirits as well as about daily life (and) sacred histories," said Yoo, a native of Korea. "I would like the paintings to communicate in a simple way the energy, truth, humor and presentness of experience."

Yoo is one of four Asian-American artists whose works are featured in the Korean Cultural Center's "A View From Within." The works, on display in the second-floor gallery of the Wilshire Boulevard center, include paintings on burlap, plaster masks and combinations of painting and sculpture.

Curator Phyllis Chang said that each of the artists has attempted to tell something of their personal and spiritual journeys.

Yoo is joined in the exhibition by Chinese-American Kai Bob Cheng, Japanese-American Yoshihiro Youkee Nishida, and Kaleo Ching, a native of Hawaii who is of Korean and Chinese ancestry. Chang said she selected the four from 15 artists because their work has a "very personal and spiritual feel."

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