Chung Chang-Sup was a prominent member of the Korean art movement Dansaekhwa. He developed a highly personal technique of using Korean tak fibre, made of the inner bark of paper mulberry, a tree and plant species native to Asia. The mulberry fibre is soaked, rubbed, and dissolved into pulp:Read More
'I scoop up the pulp, spread it on a canvas, tap and knead it, and my conversation with the paper mulberry begins. Abandoning my own will, instead I await its spontaneous response.'
Pursuing this technique for forty years, it reached its culmination in the artist's final series, 'Meditation'. For this series, Chung introduced other natural pigments, mostly out of tobacco leaves and charcoal, yet subtly faded and blurred into the yellowish tint from paper mulberry sap. In 'Meditation', Chung also introduced the geometry of form. By using a wooden stick, he opened up the thick pulp and shaped a large square, a window to the outside. When he was still very young, Chung had what became a defining personal experience when he saw sunlight filtering through a window screen, made of Korean tak paper:
In battering and kneading tak, I unknowingly put my breath, odour and finally my soul into the process, thus becoming a part of the process itself.
'When I was young, the first thing I saw as soon as waking up was soft sunlight penetrating through a tak paper window. (...) Through the screen of tak paper, one can distinctively sense the wind, light and the flow of time outside his or her room, which allowed us to experience both feelings of being inside and outside. This is the realm of creation with no intention of creating.'
— Chung Chang-Sup
Text courtesy Axel Vervoordt Gallery.
Opening at the Boghossian Foundation’s Villa Empain in Brussels this weekend is When Process Becomes Form: Dansaekhwa and Korean Abstraction, the first exhaustive exhibition of the Korean Dansaekhwa movement in Belgium, featuring some fifty works by seven of its leading proponents: Chung Chang-Sup, Chung Sang-Hwa, Ha Chong-Hyun, Kim Whanki...
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