What would a world of art be like? A world where life becomes art and art becomes life, and a world that is created through our communion with the One Divine Being? As a religious leader (Jung Myung Seok), this artist accepted art and developed a style of art that is unrestricted by formality or genre and is free and unique.
Christian Gospel Mission holds an exhibition of paintings by President Jung Myung Seok
What would a world of art be like? A world where life becomes art and art becomes life, and a world that is created through our communion with the One Divine Being? As a religious leader, this artist accepted art and developed a style of art that is unrestricted by formality or genre and is free and unique. Our exhibit displaying his world of art has opened.
The artist of these paintings is Jung Myung Seok, the president of Christian Gospel Mission. The exhibit of his art paintings has been premiering at the Gusang Art Museum in Wolmyeongdong, Geumsan-gun, Chungnam, since February 21. Displayed at the exhibit are the paintings of rocky cliffs and palm trees that he has drawn the most, as well as many other paintings besides the pine trees.
The artist’s view of art: Only when we know the Holy Son Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life, will we be able to comprehend and create art.
Jung clearly expresses his philosophy: “Only when we know the Holy Son Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life will we be able to comprehend and create art.” This philosophy is embodied in his artwork, and you can see how the freedom he gained by learning the truth through his life experiences is also alive and breathing throughout his artwork.
The painting that especially drew people’s attention at the exhibit is Destiny, which was nominated as Jung’s featured artwork at 2011 Arteclasica Art Fair held in Argentina. It won plaudits from people around the world. He portrayed the destiny of the weak before the strong through painting and said, “I received the design from the Holy Son Jesus and He showed me a vision through inspiration, so I drew it swiftly in an instant without being able to breathe.”
A snail standing on the cliff of death, like the one in Destiny, is a stork’s favorite prey. There would be no one who would say that the snail will survive. The stork thinks the same and says, “You are my prey. Once I peck at you, it is over.” However, the snail does not surrender to death but says, “I will live.” It is running with all of its might to avoid death. No matter how fast the snail may move, before the stork, that speed is like the speed of the hour hand before the second hand. Jung explained that he was depicting a person who leaves his destiny up to the Heavens.
This painting conveys the message, We cannot do anything we want with our life, but our destiny is left up to Heaven’s Will. This painting is filled and packed with the desire to convey that meaning. He illustrated the messages, If you give up, you will die and be defeated, and, Do not be conscious of others, but do it until the end. When you look at all the strokes of the painting, it seems as if the notes of Beethoven’s The Destiny Symphony have been precisely depicted. The top part of the painting was drawn with strong strokes, and the bottom part was drawn with soft strokes, expressing the element of sorrow.
The objects that appear in his drawings are mountains, seas, the sun, birds, trees, and rocks: things we can commonly see in nature. However, the way those objects are illustrated on his canvas is not ordinary at all. The reason is that Jung is not restricted by institutionalized education or by a sensory experience that is limited to the physical body and external stimuli, but he freely receives various ideas through communing with the Divine.
In addition, his artwork is understood as a product of his ceaseless challenge to capture an original image that is beyond the visible scope of human beings. In other words, his artwork represents a mentality that has reached the pinnacle, one that has reached the Divine Being.
Jung is an artist who goes beyond mimicking certain models. He has been freely creating his own world of new art. Yet, there is no disorder to be found within that freedom; the reason being, instead of portraying imperfect human beings or a distorted world caused by mankind’s ignorance and errors, he endeavors to shape his images using the freedom found within the truth and within the ideal world which our Creator governs.
Hegel (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich), a German philosopher, explored this idea saying, “Art that makes people aware of things related to the Divine Being, which is the greatest interest of finite human beings, as a general truth and makes them feel it with their senses is art that accomplishes art’s greatest task.”
Jung’s great masterpieces eliminate the distance between human beings and the Divine and establish the perfect beauty called harmony.
It is difficult to find the application of realism towards beings or objects in his artwork. He infuses dynamic vitality into each object so that even if an object may appear to indicate one thing, he secures it in independent features so that it will not be confined to only one referent. Even in his paintings of a face, you can catch a glimpse of the righteous figure of the Divine Being within a human image made with simple lines, the image of a benevolent Jesus or the image of a vigorous eagle, which all appear to overlap. Through this, we can discover the concept, the Aura of a work of art, that Walter Benjamin had once described.
In his paintings of pine trees as well, while minimizing the usage of combining various techniques as well as the addition of extra details as much as possible, Jung displays unique shapes, such as a pine tree coiling up like a dragon, a pine tree with a brawny appearance, a pine tree standing while firmly rooted to a rock, and a pine tree sitting on the top of a mountain.
In addition, his compositions of various images of palm trees boasting grand and charming appearances, of fruits after having survived the throes of the ocean and the winds of the sea, and of a weak snail defying a stork that is infinitely stronger suggest many significant meanings. In these artworks, Jung’s twists and turns that he went through in his life, his breath of struggle for the beauty of perfection, and his shouts of victory permeate throughout his artwork intact with his guidelines for life.
Also, there is a series of Chinese ink wash drawings that Jung has drawn. On these drawings, Jung paints rocky cliffs that are surrounded by the sea, an evergreen tree that is rooted on one of the rocky cliffs, seagulls flying over in the sky, the crimson sun rising, and people who are racing while riding on a boat on one canvas. Those drawings are his great masterpieces that eliminate the distance between mountains and seas, Heaven and Earth, and God and human beings, and literally actualizes the beauty of perfection called harmony.
In such works of art, the chronological flow of history and the endlessness of time that can change a human being’s life are inherent. Furthermore, the curves of each of his lines drawn with one brushstroke vivify the sense of rhythm found in nature, which increases the musicality of his artwork and amplifies its vitality.
In addition, Jung’s desire to harmonize items of different nature led him to adopt calligraphy as one of the elements of his paintings. This applies when he pictorializes his signature into an object or when he couples his drawings with poetry containing his ideologies. His experimental spirit, which boldly tears down the walls of genre and strives towards aesthetic unity, has given birth to artwork of superiority.
Jung has established God’s majestic world of creation as the target for his paintings and has expressed it wondrously and beautifully using his spiritually keen eyes to see the beauty in the world of the Divine. Above all things, his artwork has the power to move one’s soul. It allows us to face God and opens the pathway for us to search for the purpose of life so that we can gain eternal life. That’s why those who see his artwork respond to his teachings.
As a religious leader, Jung has adopted art. Drawing art that takes responsibility for life is a great task, and living his life in order to reach the pinnacle of art is a tremendously valuable and beautiful task.
His world of art is coherent with this Bible verse: “The truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) His artwork represents his communion with God and a mentality that has reached its peak, one that has reached God. At this exhibition, we expect to witness the greatest art that has been created through the true unification of religion and art.
This exhibition is interesting due to the fact that you can see the artist’s world of art and the process of its transformation. In the case of Jung’s paintings of a pine tree, Jung said that he completed them by overcoming difficulties even if the environment and the conditions were not favorable and by devoting himself intensely to painting with his soul for art. In addition, for his painting of a rocky cliff, we can see that he tried to change his approach as he studies how to continuously improve.
If you make a group reservation a day before, you can view the exhibit while listening to a detailed explanation of the paintings from one of the staff members of the art museum, who will also act as a guide. Admission is free and exhibition hours are between 10am and 5pm. However, it is closed on Wednesday.
President Jung Myung Seok has been active in his artistic activities by exhibiting his calligraphy and a number of his paintings in this nation as well as in England, France, Germany and Argentina. In 1995, he began his literary career with a publication in the monthly magazine, The Trend of Literature, and became a published poet. His books of poetry, The Woman of Poetry and Speaking through Poetry, which were both published last July, have also become best sellers. Ten of his poems have been registered in The Encyclopedia of Korean Poetry (2011), which covers 100 years of the history of Korean poetry. His biggest works of literature are The Word of Salvation, his sermon collections, The Word of Life, and his proverbs book, Heaven’s Word, My Word.
He has studied the Bible for 50 years, and while continuing to do so, he is serving as the president of Christian Gospel Mission and also the president of the International Cultural Art and Peace Association.
Article: O Ha Neul
Photograph: Kim You Sang, Park In Su
In the Old Testament, it is recorded that the wise King Solomon wrote 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs. (1 King 4:32). These proverbs contained the wisdom of the heavens and conveys it to all who take heed.
Today, Pastor Jung Myung Seok also writes thousands of proverbs to tell the world about the deep heart of God, and how we should live our lives in the way that God has purposed. These proverbs have been published in a series called “Heaven’s Words, My Words” that consists of 9 books, and it has since grown into a new series called “Heaven’s Words, My Words: Proverbs with Pictures.”
Truly, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4) These words fill us up in ways that bread cannot.
Pastor Jung Myung Seok published a series of three books called “The Message of Life” which contains writings from his sermons from January 1997 to June 1998 (Book 1), July 1998 – March 1999 (Book 2) and April to September 1999 (Book 3).
The Message of Life 1 (Published 25 Dec 1998, ISBN 9788986813067), The Message of Life 2 (Published 10 July 2003, ISBN 8995266635), and The Message of Life 3 (Published 10 July 2003, ISBN 8995266643) contain the messages about the matchmaker for Christ, heaven’s wedding banquet, spiritual blindness, salvation, the beautiful people who look to God, not looking back after listening to the words, God’s history, repentance, God’s trumpet of the word, three basic faith tenets of providence members, and so on: 78 pieces of writings.
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In this book, 77 poems and paintings are divided into three themes: <longing>, <life and wind> and <with all of one’s heart>. These poems are written in a simple and pure language, yet contains wisdom that penetrates this world to the next. The book reveals the providence of God through parables, and tells stories about life in a concealed manner.
The poet has been studying the Bible for over fifty years and experienced numerous adversities and passions. The poems are the secrets of life he realized. Above all, the image of the poet pursuing “eternal love” with his mind rings across this world that pursues finite material things and momentary pleasure. Those who read this book will discover the true hope that the poet shares, and together, joyfully gain the light for one’s soul.
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Colonel (Retired) Choi Hee Nam, Pastor Jung Myung Seok’s commander during the Vietnam War, published a book titled “My Blue Days – In the Vietnam Battlefield” on 23rd February 2010 with the Dabit Publishers. It contains a moving personal testimony of his experience in the Vietnam War, and how Pastor Jung Myung Seok’s immense love for God even in the battlefields of the Vietnam War transformed the author. Pastor Jung Myung Seok’s story captured within this book shows that it is possible to live believing and loving God even in the midst of the most terrible ordeal known to man – war.
“There is no coincidence in this world. If there are unbelievable things that we do not know, and that we cannot believe or see with our own eyes, there is a tendency to treat it all as a coincidence. However, these are all things that happened based on cause and effect within God’s will. Therefore, we have to realize how much we do not know or do not know.” Said Corporal Jung Myung Seok.
“Is God so good?” Among the stories I have heard or people I have met since attending services at a cathedral until today, I have not seen anyone who sincerely believed in God like Corporal Jung Myung Seok. Of course, I heard a lot about great holy people who were martyred to keep the word of God among the past believers, but it is a miracle that I met such a man among the battlefields who fought alongside me.
“God is involved from beginning to end. Therefore, we must always be on God’s side.” Corporal Jung Myung Seok said in a clear and definite manner.
Original Korean Excerpt on Backcover
“이 세상에 우연은 없습니다. 다만 우리가 모르 있는, 우리 눈으로 모고도 얼른 믿을 수 없는 일들이 일어나면 그 것을 전부 우연으로 돌려버리는 경향이 있는데 그것도 다 하나님 뜻 안에서 일어나는 원인과 결과의 일들입니다. 그러니 사람이 얼마나 모르고 할아가도 있는지 깨달아야 합니다.”
정명석 상병이 말했다.
“하나님이 그렇게도 좋아?”
나는 성당에 다니면서도 지금까지 만났거나 들은 얘기들 중에 내 앞에 있는 정명석 상병처럼 진심으로 하나님을 믿는 사람을 보지 못했다. 물론 옛 성직자들 중에 하나님 말씀을 지키려다 순교한 위대한 성인들 얘기는 많이 들었지만, 나와함께 전투현장을 누비는 전우들 중에서 그러한 사람을 만났다는 것은 기적이라 아니할 수 없다.
“하나님은 처음부터 끝까지 관여하십니다. 그렇기 때문에 우리는 언제나 하나님 편에 서야 옳습니다.”
정명석 상병이 분명한 어조로 말했다.
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The poet Jung Myung-seok meets “The Woman of Poetry” with “Speaking through Poetry.”
|Poems that overflow from poetic inspirations throughout one’s life journey… They move and lead your soul, and allows your soul to cry out|
Sky light | 2013: 09: 30 [16:08]
Recently, Poet Jung Myung Seok’s poetry collections “The Woman of Poetry” and “Speaking through Poetry” became a hot topic by being Kyobo Bookstore’s best sellers. In July when these poetry books were released, the hearts of readers were captured as the books battled for the first and second place among poetry books. These poem collections are part of the author’s series of “Poems of Inspiration,” and were published 17 years after the second edition of the “Poem of Inspiration” in 1996.
Through an extreme heart-wrenching life journey, he meets God and poetry
The third book of the poetry collection, “The Woman of Poetry,” contains the life story of a person who regards the creator God and the savior Holy Son as his Lord and lives serving them. It expresses that the core of human beings is the “heart and soul,” and the core of life is “love.” By communicating deeply with the core and root of all creation – God’s world, deep inspirations produce content which then becomes written in the form of poems. A human being living on this earth who climbed up steep and treacherous cliffs to reach the heavens will experience all kinds of training and pains that lead to the loneliness of life. However, to a poet who has the absolute belief that the invisible God truly exists and is present, these become a longing, a waiting, a meeting, happiness and hope, and overflows from his earnest and brimming love. That was how he could confess saying, “I met ‘The Woman of Poetry’ and wrote down these poems in the midst of the ‘desolate and lonely valley of life.’”
The poet’s prologue writes “Contents from heaven’s secrets are unraveled by poets, who use “Poems of Parables” to hide and write down these contents, in order for people to realize God’s time period.” As the poet writes, if one finishes reading the poems but is unable to unravel or realize the things hidden within, then there is no sense of achievement of reading the poems, and it will make the poet feel frustrated. It is hoped that there will be people who can realize through wisdom and understand the poet’s deep heart, thus discern the time period, redress grievances and ride on the times. The poet longs for such people of wisdom to appear.
Poetry is like a fruit that conceals a person’s life, a life of painstakingly loving God and making his soul complete. After the life has ripened, poetry reveals the poet’s completed soul, and presents his life unwaveringly. This poem collection comprises four major works: “The path of the cross,” “Poetry is flowing,” “Please go and love,” “God’s hands are pierced.” These let people realize the noble laws of life, including happiness in the midst of rainstorms, a masterpiece after struggles, sweetness after bitterness, and resurrection after sacrifice etc., and leads many souls who resonate with these laws to achieve a beautiful, mysterious and majestic history of recreation.
Another book that was released is the fourth book in the “Poems of Inspiration” series titled “Speaking through Poetry.” It intensely reveals the religious life and the life perspectives of the poet who has studied and preached the Bible for over 50 years. In particular, it recognizes the time of God’s providence and historical time. The works written in 2012 are categorized in four major chapters “Love one other,” “In progress,” “My beloved, please spread this word,” and “Eternal road,” and were made into a poem collection.
Through this collection, the poet poetically depicts the world of pain and joy that he dramatically experienced in life, and the scenes of hell and heaven that his soul witnessed through traversing the spiritual world. Thus, he conveys “if one lives centered on the ever-changing physical body, it will end in meaninglessness and death; if one lives centered on the eternal love that exists in the Almighty, then heaven can be achieved.”
Complemented by uplifting and appealing designs and eye-catching illustrations… the poems becomes more inspiring
Particularly in “Speaking through Poetry”, illustrations were drawn personally by the author who is both a poet and an artist. Just as one can recognize the species of the tree through the fruit it bears, the uplifting and appealing designs are works of art that let people recognize the poet’s sophistication at a glance. A drawing becomes a poem, and makes the poem more inspiring, leading people to the world of even higher realizations.
Just as a poem expresses a secret that cannot be comprehended by simple words, the picture is expressed in simple strokes, but contains the deep things hidden in the poem which form the core. The poet shares, “When you affix an appropriate drawing to the poem, it is like putting condiments onto the food, spreading a similar fragrance; it is also like a pine tree that stands erect on a rock, achieving harmony.” As you can see two works of art with different genres at the same time in one book, it creates more synergy and gives the readers added satisfaction and inspirations.
Jung Myung Seok was born in 1945 in Geumsan County, Jinsan-Myun. After appearing in the monthly “Literary Movement and Trends” in 1995, he published four volumes of “Spiritual Poem.” Ten of his poems were listed in The Encyclopedia of Korean Poetry (2011), which encompasses 100 years of Korean poetry history. In addition to his poetry work, he has been studying the Bible for more than 50 years, has been a regular speaker of the Christian Gospel Mission, and has been consistently written religious books such as “The Word of Salvation,” “The Word of Life,” and the proverbs collection “Heavens Words, My Words” etc. In addition, he exhibited many paintings and calligraphy works both in Korea and other nations (England, France, Germany, Argentina, etc.).
Translated by Providence Hub.