“Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem,” wrote William Hamilton Gibson. For anyone in love with winter, Lee Eun Ji Private Exhibition: Falling Snowly is the perfect place to be. Each painting’s frosty, delicate, and blue atmosphere contrasts with that of the café where the exhibition is being held, toasty and warm. Falling Snowly enables viewers to enjoy the refreshingly cold beauty of snow while basking in the toasty and intimate atmosphere of a café with a cup of hot coffee.
Lee Eunji Private Exhibition: Falling Snowly is all about intimacy. Stepping into the entrance of Tom N Toms Coffee Tomscovery, Konkuk University branch, Lee’s artworks may not immediately grab people’s attention. However, the quiet pull of her paintings is at the core of the beauty of this exhibition. Amidst the sweet aroma of coffee, tea, and bread and above private conversations deep and shallow, Lee’s paintings slowly grow on their viewers. They begin to stand out and slowly and powerfully evoke a pang of nostalgia, deep longing, and bittersweet melancholy.
▲ “Bus stop” by Lee Eun Ji. Photographed by Lim Jae Heun.
Artist Lee Eunji, a graduate of Hongik University’s Department of Painting, received special selection at the 16th Danwon Art Festival last year. Of her artwork she said, “Snowflakes soundlessly gather and disappear in a moment. I recorded on canvas the emotions of each of those moments. The leap of heart on your way home, the caress that feels like consolation for the difficult day you’ve had, the coziness from apartments’ lights.” She emphasized her use of subdued colors and explained that she tried to portray things as they are in everyday life, so there are no brilliant colors. Instead, she attempted to deliver to viewers the small and simple emotions found in it through snow.
One of the most eye-catching paintings on the café’s first floor would have to be the oil on canvas piece “On the Tree 2.” It seems to depict the serene delicateness of snowflakes. Looking at it, viewers will feel peace of mind, as if the snowflakes are consoling them. Another oil painting, “Snowy road,” is an artful depiction of snow-covered roads leading to softly glowing city lights. These fuzzy lights somehow evoke longing by conjuring up the warmth of home. Other oil paintings include “Forest 2” and “Road scenery 3- Sapporo.”
▲ “On the Tree 2” by Lee Eun Ji. Provided by opengallery.co.kr.
On the second floor, the biggest piece on display is the oil on canvas painting “Snow walk.” It brings to mind the giddiness and hopefulness of the first snow day of the year. It might summon up the excitement people felt as kids on snow days when they could enjoy a surprise day off from school. Next to it is another serene oil on canvas work, “Silent landscape.”
“Bus stop” is another memorable piece of work which reminds people of cold winter days when they anxiously wait at the bus stop while thinking over the conversations, worries, and little mishaps they had that day. Other pieces on the second floor were “Crosswalk,” “On the tree 1,” “Road scenery1-sapporo,” Road scenery2-sapporo,” “Road scenery4, 5 – sapporo series,” “Snowy trees,” “Drawing,” and “Slowly, snowly.”
The last stop of the exhibition, the third floor featured a particularly emotional oil on canvas piece titled, “Snow landscape.” Also displayed was an oil on canvas work, “Over the hill.” By the end of the pleasant excursion through snowy landscapes, visitors may come to the slow realization that their day-to-day frustrations and worries have melted away like snow. Falling Snowly is a snow day for adults—snug and exciting at the same time.
▲ Falling Snowly exhibition. Photographed by Lim Jae Heun.
One of the special features of Falling Snowly was the intimacy of the exhibition provided by its venue, a local Tom N Toms Cafe. Falling Snowly is part of the 13th “Gallery耽,” which runs until December 30. Gallery耽 is an arts and culture support project run by Tom N Toms Café since 2013 with the intent of aiding the growth of art and culture and to unearth aspiring artists. Luckily, Gallery耽 is not one of a kind. Gallery cafés are not an uncommon treat for art lovers dwelling in Seoul. Such galleries hold exhibits on various themes, including modern art, automobiles, folk art, van Gogh, and hard rock.
▲ “Snowy Road” by Lee Eun Ji. Provided by opengallery.co.kr.
Falling Snowly is perfect for tired souls looking to find solace, comfort, and escape from their everyday stress and exasperation. Enjoying a nice, hot, slow cup of coffee with the ambient buzz of people deep in conversation and music while viewing a gallery of exquisite snowflake paintings can be a perfect way to begin winter.
Venue: Tom N Toms Coffee Tomscovery, Konkuk University branch