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(1927 – 2011), South Korea

Chung Chang-Sup Biography

A leading figure of the Korean art movement Dansaekhwa, Chung Chang-Sup is known for exploring the union of nature and manmade forms through his monochromatic paintings on tak fibre. Made by soaking mulberry fibre in water before molding it to canvas, his works have been referred to as 'unpainted paintings'.

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Early Years

Chung Chang-Sup was born in 1927 in Cheongju, South Korea. A formative memory for the artist was observing gentle sunlight radiating through windows covered with tak paper—a fibre made from Korean mulberry pulp. Chung could sense the movement of light and wind through the semi-opaque screen, giving him the sense of being both outside and inside at once. The union of natural and manmade sights, and the idea that creation might exist without intention, became an important part of Chung's ideology as an artist.

Between 1946 and 1951, Chung studied painting at the College of Fine Arts at Seoul National University. He graduated with a Master of Fine Arts and exhibited in his first group show at the National Art Museum in Seoul in 1953.

Dansaekhwa & Artistic Practice

Chung was part of a generation of Korean artists working after the country's liberation from Japan in 1945. The Dansaekhwa movement emerged from a generation of Korean artists who sought self-expression during a time of post-war struggle. The movement rejected the strict characteristics of realism and formalism, favouring a monochromatic style that emphasised materiality, process and technique.

Like many other Dansaekhwa artists, Chung's paintings were characterised by their muted colour palettes and simplicity of form and composition. Chung's Taoist beliefs and personal process of using materials native to Asia support the movement's philosophy of finding balance between the natural and manmade worlds.

'Meditation' series (1990-2000s)

For much of his career, Chung worked with tak fibre—a material made from the bark of a mulberry tree indigenous to Korea. Chung soaked the raw fibres before kneading them into a pulp that he spread across each canvas. The uneven, textured surface of the paintings highlight the importance of process and materiality characteristic to Dansaekhwa.

Chung's final and most well-known series, titled 'Meditation' (1990-2000s), incorporates an abundance of natural materials including pigments from charcoal and tobacco leaves. The different traces of natural resources represent Chung's exploration into the ways which we experience natural materials in everyday life.

The composition of geometric patterns in the 'Meditation' series demonstrates Chung's repetitive painterly gestures, while drawing attention to the meditative process involved when making each work. Chung's rhythmic method of painting establishes a space where the artist can express his inner narrative.

Awards and Accolades

In 2015, Chung Chang-Sup was invited to contribute work in the group exhibition Dansaxekhwa, a collateral event of the 56th Venice Biennale held in the Palazzo Contarini-Polignac. The exhibition explored the development of Dansaekhwa and presented work by key artists who defined the movement's development throughout the 1970s, including Chung, Ha Chong-Hyun, Kim Whanki, Kwon Young-Woo, Lee Ufan, and Park Seo-Bo.

Chung Chang-Sup is the recipient of several awards including The Order of Korean National Art Merit, Seoul (1993); Grand Prize, The 13th Joong Ang Cultural Grand Prize, Seoul (1987); Invited Artist Award, The 29th Korean National Art Exhibition, Seoul (1980); Bronze Prize and Esso Prize, The 1st Saigon International Biennale, Saigon (1962).

Chung Chang-Sup's artwork is included in the public collections of a number of galleries and museums. Selected institutions include the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Gwacheon; the Seoul Museum of Art; the Walker Hill Art Museum in Seoul; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; the Royal Nepal Museum in Kathmandu; and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Exhibitions

Chung Chang-Sup has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions.

Selected solo exhibitions include Chung Chang-Sup, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Hong Kong (2021); Chung Chang-Sup, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Wijnegem (2020); Return, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Wijnegem (2018); Chung Chang-Sup, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Antwerp (2016—17); Chung Chang-Sup, Kukje Gallery, Seoul (2016); Meditation, Perrotin, Hong Kong (2016); Meditation, Perrotin, New York (2015); Meditation, Perrotin, Paris (2015); Retrospective, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon (2010); Chung Chang-Sup, PYO Gallery, Seoul (2007); Chung Chang-Sup, Johyun Gallery, Busan (2004); Chung Chang-Sup, Gallery Euro, Seoul (2003); Chung Chang-Sup, Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles (1995).

Selected group exhibitions include Silence & Space, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Antwerp (2021); Summer Gallery Highlights, Perrotin, Hong Kong (2018); Unpacked: Contemporary Works from Private Collections of Northern California, Museums of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa (2017); When Process Becomes Form: Dansaekhwa and Korean Abstraction, The Boghossian Foundation, Brussels (2016); Dansaekhwa, Villa Empain, Brussels (2016); Danseaekhwa: The Adventure of Korean Monochrome from the 1970s to Today, Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Bignan (2016); Avant Garde Asia: Lines of Korean Masters, Sotheby's Hong Kong Gallery, Hong Kong (2015); The Art of Dansaekhwa: Korean Monochrome Painting, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon (2014); The Art of Dansaekhwa, Kukje Gallery, Seoul (2014); Tell Me Tell Me: Australian and Korean Art 1976- 2011, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

Phoebe Bradford | Ocula | 2022

Chung Chang-Sup
featured artworks

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Meditation 231103 by Chung Chang-Sup contemporary artwork
Chung Chang-Sup Meditation 231103, 2003 Tak fiber on cotton
115 x 115 cm
PKM Gallery Request Price & Availability
Meditation 94705 by Chung Chang-Sup contemporary artwork painting
Chung Chang-Sup Meditation 94705, 1994 Tak fiber on cotton
220 x 140 cm
PKM Gallery Request Price & Availability
Meditation 20112 by Chung Chang-Sup contemporary artwork painting
Chung Chang-Sup Meditation 20112, 2000 Tak fiber on cotton
259 x 194 cm
PKM Gallery Request Price & Availability
Meditation 97621 by Chung Chang-Sup contemporary artwork painting
Chung Chang-Sup Meditation 97621, 1997 Tak fiber on cotton
97 x 130.3 cm
PKM Gallery Request Price & Availability
Meditation 91077 by Chung Chang-Sup contemporary artwork painting
Chung Chang-Sup Meditation 91077, 1991 Tak fiber on canvas
140 x 240 cm
PKM Gallery Request Price & Availability
Tak 8903 by Chung Chang-Sup contemporary artwork painting
Chung Chang-Sup Tak 8903, 1989 Tak fiber on cotton
120 x 210 cm
PKM Gallery Request Price & Availability
Meditation 94703 by Chung Chang-Sup contemporary artwork mixed media
Chung Chang-Sup Meditation 94703, 1994 Tak fiber on canvas
244 x 122 cm
Perrotin Request Price & Availability
Meditation 951120 by Chung Chang-Sup contemporary artwork painting
Chung Chang-Sup Meditation 951120, 1995 Tak fiber on canvas
244 x 122 cm
Perrotin Request Price & Availability
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Chung Chang-Sup
recent exhibitions

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Represented by these
Ocula Member Galleries

Axel Vervoordt Gallery contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong
Axel Vervoordt Gallery Hong Kong, Antwerp
Kukje Gallery contemporary art gallery in Seoul, South Korea
Kukje Gallery Seoul, Busan
Perrotin contemporary art gallery in Paris Marais, France
Perrotin Hong Kong, New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai +1
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