Hongchun, Korea born 1944
Materials & Technique: sculptures, assemblages, mixed media (styrofoam, mulberry paper, string)
Chun Kwang-Young is an established Korean contemporary artist who has exhibited widely in Korea and in Japan, the USA and more recently Europe. Still based today in Seoul, Chun pursued his graduate studies in the USA in the early 1970s. His works are found in both private and public collections in Korea and internationally. This year he was recognised with the prestigious Artist of the Year award by the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul.
The artist has been somewhat obsessively developing his Aggregation series of Korean mulberry paper wrapped styrofoam shapes tied with string and mounted on large canvases since 1994. The paper which wraps the triangles of these so-called tactile paintings are printed with Chinese ideograms wishing the viewer good health, an allusion to traditional herbal medicines which are wrapped in papers with auspicious Chinese characters and hung from the ceilings. Mulberry paper has many references in everyday Korean culture and its application to contemporary art is widespread amongst prominent Korean artists today. The layout of the triangles varies, yet the tessellations of the tightly arranged surface is both decorative and minimalist in its simplicity. The meeting of international formalism with Korean cultural and religious evocations makes this a powerful work of art.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label