World renowned Korean sculptor Moon Shin was born in Japan during the Japanese colonial period and grew up in the southern industrial city of Masan. He went back to Japan to study art at Tokyo University of The Arts. Returning to Korea, he held individual exhibitions of his paintings and sculptures more than ten times. Looking forward to broaden and deepen his perspectives on art, he went to France in 1961 and became fascinated with abstract paintings and sculptures.
He earned an international reputation as a creative sculptor with his work "Soleillonautes" at The International Sculpture Symposium held in France in 1970 and continued to hold exhibitions in countries around the world, including France, Germany, Switzerland and Iran. After two decades of living abroad, he finally settled down in his hometown Masan in 1980 and held a series of exhibitions such as 'Europe Tour Exhibition' and 'Moon Shin Retrospective Exhibition'. In recognition of his significant contributions to arts, both Korean government and French government awarded him Sejong Culture Award and Order of Arts and Letters(Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) respectively.
Moon Shin's most representative sculpture is the monument called "Olympic-Harmony," which was built to mark the 1988 Seoul Olympics, standing in SOMA Museum Sculpture Park. His lifetime wish of building his own museum in his hometown of Masan finally came true in 1994. Unfortunately, he passed away the next year after a long battle with a chronic illness. Moon Shin was posthumously awarded the Geum-gwan Medal, Korea's Highest Order of Cultural Merit. His works have been displayed at Moon Shin museums in Masan and Sookmyung Women's University.
"I, work like a slave,
live like a commoner,
create like God."
-in Moon Shin's note
Moon Shin built his unique career through sculptures, paintings and drawings. His artworks are reminiscent of natural objects such as insects, birds and flowers though they are represented in abstract arts consisted of geometric curves, circles, and semicircle. This is because his works include minute imbalance, dissymmetry or bilateral symmetry of nature. Paradoxically, the asymmetric symmetry shows harmony as the both different sides take after becoming one. Eventually, his works lead us to the inner side of human being and the universe by telling the origin of life and the unknown world.