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Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber Ocula Report Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber 15 Mar 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...

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Diana Campbell Betancourt Ocula Conversation Diana Campbell Betancourt

Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...

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Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art Ocula Report Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Mar 2019 : Mike Pinnington for Ocula

China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...

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Ha Chong-Hyun

b. 1935, South Korea

Ha Chong-Hyun (하종현) is one of Korea's most acclaimed artists. He is a Dansaekhwa artist, 'Dansaekhwa' meaning 'monochrome painting'. Though this was not an official movement—it had no manifesto or clearly defined members—it describes the work of Korean artists from the mid-1970s who share a muted, spare palette and innovative approach to practice. These artists also came into their own in a period of great political upheaval and deprivation during the 1970s when South Korean president Park Chung Hee declared martial law and effectively ruled the state as a dictator.

Ha's work is characterised by its soft, earthy tones that echo Korea's landscape and villages. Working primarily with burlap—the same woven material used by the United States to transport relief supplies and goods to aid Korea during the Korean War—the artist imbues his paintings with a sense of sculpture by taking an unusual approach to the application of paint upon medium; he pushes thick layers of paint through the backside of his paintings and into the foreground, creating a seeped and textured surface, as in Conjunction 09-52 (2009). Referring to this method as bae-ap-bub ('back pressure method'), it suggests art as something that can have two sides. This labour-intensive experimentation, which was rendered in his 1970s 'Conjunction' series, helped redefine Korea's modern art and academic tradition. It also served to bridge avantgarde trends between East and West. In his use of burlap, Ha's work triggers associations with Western abstract artists, such as Alberti Boetti, who also used the cheap materials, and his paired down strokes resonate with that of post-war abstraction as seen in the work of Agnes Martin, Cy Twombly and Niele Toroni.

Seoul has been the artist's home since 1959 when he graduated from Hongik University. From 1990 to 1994 Ha served as dean at Hongik University's College of Fine Arts, and he was director of the Seoul Museum of Art from 2001 to 2006. His work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, both nationally and worldwide.

Jessica Douglas | Ocula | 2018

Featured Artworks

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Conjunction 16-380 by  contemporary artwork Conjunction 16-380, 2016 Oil on hemp cloth
162.2 x 130.3 cm
Tina Kim Gallery
Conjunction 17-302 by  contemporary artwork Conjunction 17-302, 2017 Oil on hemp cloth
291 x 218 cm
Kukje Gallery
Conjunction 17-60 by  contemporary artwork Conjunction 17-60, 2017 Oil on hemp cloth
162 x 130 cm
Kukje Gallery
Conjunction 17-26 by  contemporary artwork Conjunction 17-26, 2017 Oil on hemp cloth
162 x 130 cm
Kukje Gallery
Conjunction 85-11 by  contemporary artwork Conjunction 85-11, 1985 Oil on hemp cloth
100 x 80 cm
Tina Kim Gallery
Conjunction 17-53 by  contemporary artwork Conjunction 17-53, 2017 Oil on hemp cloth
130 x 97 cm
Kukje Gallery
Conjunction 90-53 by  contemporary artwork Conjunction 90-53, 1990 Oil on canvas
81 x 100 cm
Kamakura Gallery
Conjunction 18-03 by  contemporary artwork Conjunction 18-03, 2018 Oil on hemp cloth
162.2 x 130.3 cm
Kukje Gallery

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Ha Chong-hyun, Ha Chong-hyun at Blum & Poe, Tokyo
Opening Soon
23 March–18 May 2019 Ha Chong-hyun Ha Chong-hyun Blum & Poe, Tokyo
Contemporary art exhibition, Ha Chong-Hyun, Conjunction at Tina Kim Gallery, New York
4 May–16 June 2018 Ha Chong-Hyun Conjunction Tina Kim Gallery, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Ha Chong Hyun, Solo Exhibition at Almine Rech Gallery, London
1 June–23 September 2017 Ha Chong Hyun Solo Exhibition Almine Rech Gallery, London

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Ha Chong-Hyun Ocula Conversation Ha Chong-Hyun Artist, Korea

Among the now internationally acclaimed Dansaekhwa artists, Ha Chong-Hyun (b. South Korea, 1935) is notable for his undeniable influence on the shifting landscape of Korean art in the 1960s and '70s. A part of the first wave of artists to embrace abstraction in South Korea, he also cofounded A.G., a pioneering avant-garde collective that gave rise...

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Beyond Influence: The Legacy Of Korean Monochrome Painting Ocula Report Beyond Influence: The Legacy Of Korean Monochrome Painting 14 Oct 2014 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

“One thing to remember about Tansaekhwa is that it was never an official movement," Joan Kee, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, explains in an email interview. "There was no manifesto, no declaration—not even a series of exhibitions consciously organized under that...

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In Related Press

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Ha Chong-Hyun at Almine Rech Gallery, Paris Related Press Ha Chong-Hyun at Almine Rech Gallery, Paris ArtAsiaPacific : 23 May 2017

At Almine Rech Gallery in Paris, 21 of the artist's paintings, the majority of which were created in the past four years, demonstrated Ha's ability to imbue paint with the qualities of sculpture. The artist uses a methodical, labor-intensive process to create energetic paintings on hemp cloth, recalling the sacks of aid supplies distributed to...

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Making sense of the abstract Related Press Making sense of the abstract China Daily : 1 March 2017

Dansaekhwa, a genre of monochromatic paintings from South Korea, will make its Chinese mainland debut in September.The show at Yuz Museum in Shanghai, featuring more than 70 works by different artists, including the elderly, is expected to draw collectors and lovers of art who share cultural similarities with Korean people. The artworks are...

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Monochrome and minimalism: 6 Dansaekhwa artists in New York Related Press Monochrome and minimalism: 6 Dansaekhwa artists in New York Art Radar : 23 May 2016

Dansaekhwa, or Korean monochrome art, is characterised by painting in a single colour, textured and with simplified images. Featured as a collateral event of the 56th Venice Biennale (2015), the art form has also generated interest in the western world through recent exhibitions such as From All Sides: Tansaekhwa on Abstraction (Blum & Poe, Los...

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Dansaekhwa in the limelight at art hubs Related Press Dansaekhwa in the limelight at art hubs The Korea Herald : 22 April 2016

A series of Dansaekhwa painting exhibitions are taking place at art fairs and exhibitions in the art hubs of New York, Brussels and France, solidifying the Korean monochrome art movement’s presence in the Western art scene.Paintings of two acclaimed Dansaekhwa artists – Ha Chong-hyun and Kwon Young-woo –  will be on view...

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In Related Video

Zoe Chun, Kukje Gallery on Deductive Object at Art Basel Hong Kong Related Video & Audio Zoe Chun, Kukje Gallery on Deductive Object at Art Basel Hong Kong CoBo : 27 March 2017

CoBo speaks to Zoe Chun, Communication Director of Kukje Gallery – CoBo Challenge at Art Basel Hong Kong 2017.


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