About SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation

SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation was established by the late Mr. Yoo, Sung Yeon in 1989. As a young man, he was filled with creative ambitions of his own and often dreamed of pursuing his life as an artist. Due, however, to the harsh circumstances at that time on the divided Korean peninsula and his own financial difficulties having fled to South Korea from the North, such dreams of becoming an artist seemed forever to be just that-dreams that could never be realized.

Instead, Yoo, Sung Yeon turned his attention toward business and eventually poured his ambitions into the energy field. While achieving success in the industry, Chairman Yoo never lost his passion for art nor did he abandon entirely his long held dream of one day being able to make a positive contribution to the arts. Thus, in his later years he devoted much of himself and his resources to supporting young and talented Korean artists.
The name of the foundation is derived from Chairman Yoo’s nom de plume, Song Eun, which translates beautifully as ‘hidden pine tree’ and appropriately captures his spirit and wish to be a hidden, yet solid foundation for aspiring artists.
In essence, Chairman Yoo had, at last, found a meaningful way to provide young and talented artists with the support and opportunities that he did not have access to at a much younger age-an age when dreams should ideally be laden with potential and possibility and encouraged on to fruition.
Following the death of Yoo, Sung Yeon in 1999, his son Yoo, Sang Duck has steadfastly respected and followed his father’s will and spirit and over the last ten years has continued to support young Korean artists through the SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation. In honor of his father, he established the annual SongEun ArtAward in 2001 to support and award Korean contemporary artists through a fair and transparent evaluation process every year. In addition, since 2002, a nonprofit art space called SongEun Art Cube, formally known as SongEun Gallery, was set up to provide young Korean artists with a venue to exhibit their works.
Opened in November 2010, SongEun ArtSpace, a new building specifically designed for art exhibitions and events reflects the current chairman and son of the founder, Yoo, Sang Duck’s steadfast commitment to art and culture and provides the foundation with the necessary infrastructure to elevate and expand its ability to give artists greater opportunities to show their work and to provide the public more access to the contemporary art scene. In this spirit, all exhibitions are open to the public free of charge.