The color BLUE: Katsuyoshi Inokuma, Lee Chae, Liu Ke


2024.02.24 - 03.24

Whitestone Gallery Seoul is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, "The color BLUE," which will showcase the exceptional talents of three artists—Lee Chae from Korea, Liu Ke from China, and Inokuma Katsuyoshi from Japan. This captivating exhibition aims to delve into the multifaceted nature of the color blue, offering an exploration of how each artist uniquely incorporates this hue into their works.

The color blue, a rare hue in nature, holds a storied history dating back to ancient civilizations. Used sparingly due to the scarcity of organisms capable of creating true-blue pigments, blue has been reserved for precious artifacts such as Parao's mask and religious depictions like those of St. Mary. Simultaneously, blue has been a source of inspiration for artists across centuries. Whether employed as a symbolic reference or as a reflection of elements in nature, the color blue – with its myriad shades, tones, and tints – provides endless possibilities for adaptation to the creative needs of artists. This exhibition spotlights the utilization of the blue color within abstract works, showcasing the distinctive approaches of three artists hailing from diverse cultural backgrounds. Through their artworks, the audience is invited to explore and appreciate the varied expressions and interpretations of blue in the realm of contemporary art.


Born in Japan in 1951, Katsuyoshi Inokuma introduced his distinctive IN BLUE series in 1993, which continues to be the focus of his artistic endeavors. This series features serene and gentle blue screens, often divided and adorned with several rectangles. In recent works, the ornamental expressions seen in the earlier IN BLUE series, such as vibrant colors and drippings, have replaced a quieter palette dominated by dark tones, creating a space that evokes aesthetic depth.

This series’ predominant ultramarine blue characteristic appears to envelop the entire composition. However, the artist introduces subtle variations in blue tones in different areas, adding depth to the color. In some instances, he incorporates coffee grounds mixed with pigments, creating a unique texture that is distinctly his own. For Inokuma, the color blue, reminiscent of the deep sea, is the most effective hue in conveying the depth of space. Therefore, he consistently employs his unique shade of blue, akin to the abyss of the sea, in his artworks. In discussing his artistic approach, Inokuma emphasizes the importance of creating works that delve into the depths of the human psyche, aiming to resonate with viewers' memories and emotions. He articulates that the color blue, particularly the resonant blue found deep within the human soul, serves as a focal point of his exploration and usage in his artwork, striving to connect with the profound recesses of the human heart.



Born in 1989, Chae Lee creates his artworks with meticulous attention to detail, carefully spreading thin layers of paint to achieve an even and spotless finish. Through the repetitive and meditative act of wiping and smoothing, the artist delicately accumulates traces of time on the canvas.

In Chae Lee's works, the color blue frequently appears as a visual language expressing conceptual inner memories and imprints. For this exhibition, the artist reflects on the color blue, describing it as "a color of profound, unfathomable immersion that one feels when gazing at the night sky." To Lee, the color blue is intimately connected to our spiritual world, and he shares, "I capture the infinite essence of this hue, expressing the blue that emanates from the mind onto the canvas." Continuing his artistic expression of inner emotions and the traces of time, the color blue holds a special connection for the artist, offering viewers an opportunity to discover the connection between reality and distant beauty through his delicate and meditative artworks.



Chae Lee is a South Korean artist born in 1989. He graduated from Gacheon University's University for the Arts with majors in painting and Eastern painting. Subsequently, he received his master’s degree in fine art from Hongik University.

Chae Lee paints with oil on canvas, typically including his characteristic deep blue color in peaceful compositions. Though blue is often thought of as a 'cold' color, Lee interprets this shade as that of the calm of winter awaiting the promise of a new spring. Lee portrays natural elements of various sizes in his paintings, such as flower petals, branches, trees, and forests, in a rhythmical, abstract way.

Through Chae Lee's precision and the careful way he applies each line of paint, he projects ideas of 'meditation' and 'repetitive action.' Lee works in quiet concentration. With the utmost care, he wipes a thin layer of paint onto the canvas and, without leaving any unwanted marks, he slowly spreads the paint. By using this meditative process, Chae Lee spreads messages of 'peace' and 'healing' to the viewer in his artworks.

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Born in 1976, Liu Ke is a Chinese artist who intricately weaves fragments of everyday emotions into his abstract works in a multidimensional manner. Employing a complex interplay of vertical and horizontal lines, he adds curves to the canvas through collages and bold brushstrokes, creating pieces with a dynamic rhythm and palpable tension. One of his notable works, ‘Blue Lane,’ juxtaposes blue and black, where blue symbolizes transparency, fluidity, mystery, and freedom, while black represents solidity and structural composition. This dichotomy is a recurring theme throughout his works, symbolizing the collision of vertical and horizontal, straight and curved lines, abstractly expressing the dichotomy between reason and intuition and materiality and spirituality.

Regarding the frequent appearance of the color blue in Liu Ke's works, the artist explains, "Blue is deep and vast, a mysterious color embracing the unknown infinity. Simultaneously, it possesses a dual feeling of pure solidity and dynamic fluidity." The profound and mysterious shade of blue, inspired by the artist's encounters during travels to Turkey and the Himalayas, serves as a significant inspiration in his creative endeavors.


The color BLUE: Katsuyoshi Inokuma, Lee Chae, Liu Ke
2024.02.24 - 03.24


70 Sowol-ro, Yongsan-ku, Seoul, Korea
+822 318 1012
+822 318 1013
Opening Hours: 11:00 - 19:00
Closed: Monday
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