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b. 1944, South Korea

Chun Kwang Young Biography

Chun Kwang Young is a contemporary South Korean artist recognised for his 'Aggregations' (1995–ongoing) series of tactile sculptural compositions that are made of multiple minute triangular forms wrapped in mulberry paper. The richly textured surfaces of these 'Aggregations' are reminiscent of the stalactites of caves or the moon with its crater-like hollows.

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Chun graduated from Seoul's Hongik University in 1968, but in 1971 he moved to the United States to undertake a master's course at the Philadelphia College of Art. There, he was drawn to Abstract Expressionism, which, in his own words, 'seemed to be the best way to freely express my surprise and sadness at witnessing the huge gap between idea and reality'. Liberated from the rigid rules of traditional art, Chun began to interrogate the medium of painting in works such as ONT-010-73-43 (1973), in which long, expressionist brush strokes of many hues frame the rectangular opening of vivid red in the centre.

Increasingly dissatisfied with his work Chun returned to Korea in the second half of the 1970s. He continued to make abstract paintings, experimenting with clashing coloured stripes in works such as ONT-085 (1978) or short, stumpy strokes in ONT-093 (1986). However, Chun grew discontented with Abstract Expressionism and sought to find his own unique voice while acknowledging his Korean upbringing.

A solution came in 1995 in the form of hanji, a Korean traditional paper made from mulberry. The artist developed a process of cutting small modular forms in polystyrene and wrapping them in this paper, which he would then dye with tea or other colouring agents. These he would attach to a support to create assemblages that are now known as part of his signature 'Aggregations' series. His use of hanji was inspired by a recollection of childhood memories, when he would visit a traditional apothecary and see little hanji packages—each containing different medicinal herbs—hanging from the ceiling. For Chun, hanji signifies the Korean ethos he wished to convey.

The 'Aggregation' works vary in colour, from the monochromatic light brown in Aggregation 95-06 (1995) to shades of cool blue and green in Aggregation 18-AP027 (2018). Chun has also expanded their forms over the decades; in his solo exhibition Collisions: Information, Harmony and Conflict at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Singapore, in 2019, for example, he presented wall hangings (such as Aggregation 19-JU45, 2019), but he has also presented free-standing sculptures as part of the series in the past. In 'Aggregations', each hanji-wrapped piece signifies the basic unit of information, while the Chinese and Korean characters printed on them allude to generations of knowledge.

Solo exhibitions of Chun's work have been held at Wooyang Museum of Contemporary Art, Gyeongju (2016); PKM Gallery, Seoul (2018); and Brooklyn Museum, New York (2018). In 2009, Chun received the Presidential Prize in the 41st Korean Culture and Art Prize from the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Ocula | 2019

Chun Kwang Young Featured Artworks

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Aggregation 11 - MY035 Blue by Chun Kwang Young contemporary artwork
Chun Kwang YoungAggregation 11 - MY035 Blue, 2011Mixed media with Korean mulberry paper
90 x 13 cm
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Contact Gallery
Aggregation18-JA011 by Chun Kwang Young contemporary artwork
Chun Kwang YoungAggregation18-JA011, 2018Mixed media with Korean mulberry paper
195 x 132 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Contact Gallery
Aggregation17-JL037 (Star11) by Chun Kwang Young contemporary artwork
Chun Kwang YoungAggregation17-JL037 (Star11), 2017Mixed Media with Korean Mulberry paper
PKM Gallery Contact Gallery
Aggregation 19-JA004 聚合19-JA004 by Chun Kwang Young contemporary artwork
Chun Kwang YoungAggregation 19-JA004 聚合19-JA004, 2019Mixed media with Korean mulberry paper
229 x 183 cm
Pearl Lam Galleries Contact Gallery
Aggregation 15 - JL038 by Chun Kwang Young contemporary artwork
Chun Kwang YoungAggregation 15 - JL038, 2015Mixed media with Korean mulberry paper
129.9 x 129.9 x 70.9 inches
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Contact Gallery
Aggregation 17 - NV093 by Chun Kwang Young contemporary artwork
Chun Kwang YoungAggregation 17 - NV093, 2017Mixed media with Korean mulberry paper
73.2 x 60.2 inches
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Contact Gallery
Aggregation 15 - MY028 by Chun Kwang Young contemporary artwork
Chun Kwang YoungAggregation 15 - MY028, 2015Mixed media with Korean mulberry paper
188 x 161 cm
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Contact Gallery
Aggregation 15-MAO15 (Dream 4) by Chun Kwang Young contemporary artwork
Chun Kwang YoungAggregation 15-MAO15 (Dream 4), 2015Mixed media with Korean mulberry paper
118 x 92 cm
Pearl Lam Galleries Contact Gallery

Chun Kwang Young Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Chun Kwang Young, Chun Kwang Young: Full Sprectrum at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong Kong
Closed
16 April–25 May 2020 Chun Kwang Young Chun Kwang Young: Full Sprectrum Sundaram Tagore GalleryOnline Only
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Winter Group Show at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New York
Closed
9 January–8 February 2020 Group Exhibition Winter Group Show Sundaram Tagore GalleryChelsea, New York

Chun Kwang Young Represented By

Pearl Lam Galleries contemporary art gallery in Pedder Street, Hong Kong Pearl Lam Galleries Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai
PKM Gallery contemporary art gallery in Seoul, South Korea PKM Gallery Seoul
Sundaram Tagore Gallery contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong Sundaram Tagore Gallery New York, Hong Kong, Singapore

Chun Kwang Young In Ocula Magazine

Chun Kwang Young: Full Spectrum Ocula Insight Chun Kwang Young: Full Spectrum By Tessa Moldan, London

Using paper made from the inner bark of a Korean mulberry tree, Chun Kwang Young's 'Aggregations' series has captivated audiences since 1995, when a childhood memory triggered a change in artistic direction. Sundaram Tagore Gallery presents the latest of this series in the online show, Full Spectrum.

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Singapore Lowdown: Shows to See Ocula Report Singapore Lowdown: Shows to See By Tessa Moldan, Singapore

Singapore Art Week returns from 11 to 19 January 2020 with a host of island-wide events, at the centre of which is the second edition of S.E.A. Focus (16–19 January 2020) at Gillman Barracks, showcasing the best of contemporary art in Southeast Asia.

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Chun Kwang Young In Related Press

Sundaram Tagore Gallery Presents Intricate Mulberry Paper Works from Korean Artist Chun Kwang Young Related Press Sundaram Tagore Gallery Presents Intricate Mulberry Paper Works from Korean Artist Chun Kwang Young 7 May 2018, Art & Object

Chun Kwang Young's solo show, Aggregation, opened 3 May 2018 at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New York. Chun's otherworldly assemblages incorporate both sculpture and painting. His freestanding sculptures and low-relief wall hangings are crafted of triangular cones of antique mulberry paper, or hanji, tinted with tea or pigment.

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'Structures of Recollection: Contemporary Approaches to Materials and Memory' at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong Related Press 'Structures of Recollection: Contemporary Approaches to Materials and Memory' at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong 23 April 2016, ArtAsiaPacific

Exploring the idea of memory recollection, Paul Moorhouse, curator of 20th-century art at London’s National Portrait Gallery, drew together six international artists for Structures of Recollection: Contemporary Approaches to Materials and Memory,  currently showing at Pearl Lam Galleries in Hong Kong. Moorhouse’s curatorial...

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Chun Kwang Young In Video & Audio

The Eastern Gesture Chun Kwang Young Park Seobo Lee Bae Lee Ufan Kim Tschang-Yeul Dep Art Gallery Related Video & Audio The Eastern Gesture Chun Kwang Young Park Seobo Lee Bae Lee Ufan Kim Tschang-Yeul Dep Art Gallery 9 April 2020, Dep Art Gallery

THE EASTERN GESTURE Five Voices from the Korean Avant-garde Chun Kwang Young, Park Seobo, Lee Bae, Lee Ufan, Kim Tschang-Yeul Curated by Gianluca Ranzi 3 March–9 May 2020 Between meditation and matter, thought and vision, the exhibition The Eastern Gesture - Five Voices from the Korean Avant-garde to be held at the Dep Art Gallery...

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Kwang Young Chun - Mulberry Mindscapes Related Video & Audio Kwang Young Chun - Mulberry Mindscapes 7 April 2020, Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art

Kwang Young Chun is considered to be a contemporary master working with paper and is widely recognized for his installations and three-dimensional reliefs. Beck & Eggeling presents the Korean artist for the very first time in Germany with his newest works from the series Aggregation.

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