Tang Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the opening of Korean artist Chun Kwang Young's first solo exhibition in mainland China, "Threshold Dimension", on 28 September 2023 at 4pm at Beijing 2nd Space. The exhibition, curated by Feng Boyi, will feature more than 20 representative works from the artist's "Aggregations" series made between 2003 and 2023. "Threshold" as a term and concept in cultural anthropology signifies a socio-cultural structure moving from a stable state towards a transitional unsolidified structure including three stages: separation, threshold, and aggregation. "The Dimension of Threshold" refers to the cultural mix of space between these two states, characterized by ambiguity, temporariness, and uncertainty, filled with indescribable charm. Chun Kwang Young's artistic journey and the series of works titled "Aggregations" possess the "threshold" characteristics of transformation and progression between different states: through artistic rituals, he blends personal thoughts, perceptions, and experiences into his "resolute" artistic experiments.
He ingeniously transforms the resilient mulberry paper, a staple of Korean tradition, into his chosen artistic medium. The material not only serves as the foundation of his creations but goes beyond its characteristics to help directly mirror and gauge the sweeping transformations of the times. This results in a fragmented, interwoven structure that perpetually lingers on the edge of infinity. This artistic process encapsulates his meticulous and rigorous approach, representing his disciplined and refined artistic attitude. It effectively shapes and defines a visual realm that is uniquely self-contained. Engaging in prolonged, singular tasks appears to be his preferred working mode.
In Chun Kwang Young's creative process, he engages with mulberry paper in a manner that aligns with the ebb and flow of time, space, and mood. He binds, ties, sketches, and dots the paper, creating a unique practice that carries the essence of daily meditation. This practice unfolds within a confined visual space, drawing viewers into a realm of psychological experience and evoking a serene atmosphere. Therefore, the state of artistic devotion he embodies aligns directly with Eastern traditional culture. In moments of enlightenment, meditation, and introspection, it increasingly reveals a fusion of stillness and motion, coldness and warmth, simplicity and complexity, as well as sparseness and density. In his artworks, the juxtaposition of stable triangular structures with overlapping configurations of various shapes generates a captivating visual effect akin to a kaleidoscope of words, intricately folded paper bundles, and a myriad of converging elements. As a result, time and space establish a hybrid, delicate relationship highlighting the role of uncertainty and the elusive nature of change. This sense of "uncertainty" is better understood not merely as his exploration of ambiguous artistic boundaries through a merging approach, but rather as a transcendence of artistic imagination beyond the bounds of lived experiences. This process accomplishes his profound connection with the specific and intricate aspects of history, everyday life, and memory. The various "magical blocks" he composes, including wall-mounted collages with gradual color transitions, are more than mere visual forms stacked upon one another; they encapsulate his personal and even collective energy. This energy carries weight, entangled in the struggle of contradictions while maintaining a delicate equilibrium in the face of confrontation. Its value and significance are not sought solely within the correspondences of the artwork but are continuously explored through multi-dimensional projections of history, reality, and personal circumstances, as manifested in his "aggregation" installations.
When these cultural codes, bound together with mulberry paper, densely hang in the exhibition hall, the exposed wounds of society itself become conspicuously apparent. They bring forth the intentionally or unintentionally overlooked details of historical narratives. This creates a simple and direct power, opening up another imaginative space for historical consciousness. We can explore and share what was once visible or invisible through the dust of history. It's like searching for temporal memories from the realm of reality, yet it also resembles an altar where, in silence, solemnity, endurance, and bearing, there is an acceptance of history, a reverence for the earth, and solace in the hues of symbolic material culture.
Hidden beneath Chun Kwang Young's art lies a deeper sense of his national sentiment and his profound connection to the essential attributes of real life. These motivations drive him to use art as a means to carry forward and contemporize traditional Korean culture. He understands that historical imprints aren't confined to the past; they live on in the memories of the present and the interpretations of art. This fusion of heterogeneous isomorphism can be sensed in his art, where you can perceive the restlessness within the silence, the warmth within the frostiness, and the eternal within the transient... Thus, it establishes the pure and precise cultural specificity, serving as the cornerstone of his artistic creation and the defining feature of his style.