Chun Kwang Young will soon be featured
in his solo exhibition next year.
CHUN KWANG YOUNG
b.1944, Hongcheon-gun, South Korea
* The artist is represented exclusively in Asia, not including Korea
Born in a time when colonisation and political suppression were overwhelming South Korea, Chun Kwang Young went to the US to study at the Philadelphia College of Art in 1968. Chun never adapted to the art scene or lifestyle of the US, however, for it to have emphasised too intensely capitalism and self-expressiveness. Returning to Seoul, he began experimenting with Korean mulberry paper – a material he was familiar with during childhood – to craft large, free-standing sculptures.
Aggregation, as Chun’s hallmark series, manifests as sculptures reminiscent of rock formations or monumental crystallisations of minerals. And to create these different shapes and dynamics, Chun would twist, fold, and corrugate countless reused mulberry paper torn from Korean books before wrapping them over polystyrene, giving each of the uniqueness and individuality of his creations – as if becoming metamorphic, living organisms. The medium of paper, after being exploited by mankind, is hence able to return to its natural embrace at long last under the artist’s hands, once again reimbued with vitality. Chun is also mindful of the texts and characters printed on these sheets of mulberry paper. In his approach of tearing and reshaping, what is thus created is an analogy about the destruction of the past and subsequent rebirth of the new. Such a perspective mediates not just artistically as the conscious challenge of traditional genres and methodologies, but also socially in the greater scale to convey the fluidity of semiotics – where meanings of words and language can fade and transform swiftly.
Chun Kwang Young’s recent important exhibitions include: “Chun Kwang Young: Times Reimagined” at BIENNALE ARTE (Venice, 2022); solo exhibition at Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Russia, 2022); solo exhibition at Museum Ground (Korea, 2021);“Chun Kwang Young: Full Spectrum”, Sundaram Tagore Gallery (Singapore, 2020); “Special Exhibition: Moment of Giyeok”, Hagaram Art Museum (Korea, 2020); “Kwang Young Chun: Aggregations”, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (USA, 2020); “Sensitive Structure”, Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art (Düsseldorf, 2019); and “Aggregation” , Sundaram Tagore Gallery (New York, 2018).
Chun Kwang Young’s works are collected worldwide including British Museum; M+, Hong Kong; United Nations Headquarters, US; Yale University Art Gallery, US; National Gallery of Australia; Victoria and Albert Museum, UK; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; Seoul Museum of Art, Korea; How Art Museum, China and more.