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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Kwon Young-Woo

(1926 - 2013), South Korea

Kwon Young-Woo (권영우) was considered a pioneering figure in the development of Dansaekhwa (or the modern monochrome movement), a Korean painting tradition where artists work predominantly with paper. Born in Korea in 1926, Kwon graduated from Seoul National University’s first art school class in 1951 alongside his contemporaries Park No-Soo, Suh Se Ok, Chang Un-Sang, and Park Sae-Won. He died in 2013.

Throughout his career, Kwon explored the textural abilities of his chosen medium by scratching, tearing, and layering sheets of hanji (traditional Korean mulberry paper) onto canvas and manipulating the material into three-dimensional relief sculptures which were then decorated with ink painting. Later in his career, Kwon removed any trace of representation and worked solely with white paper.

Kwon’s skill in altering a traditional material to reflect themes of Abstract Expressionism has led to him being recognised as one of Korea’s most groundbreaking artists. Recently, the artist’s works have been exposed to new audiences due to a resurgence in interest of the Dansaekhwa movement.

Kwon Young-Woo has been included in recent exhibitions such as From All Sides: Tansaekhwa on Abstraction at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2014); Dansaekhwa at Kukje Gallery, Seoul (2015); When Process Becomes Form: Dansaekhwa and Korean Abstraction at the Boghossian Foundation, Brussels (2016); and Dansaekhwa and Minimalism at Blum & Poe, New York (2016).

In 2007, six years before his death in 2013, Kwon donated 70 of his most important works to the Seoul Museum of Art.

Featured Artworks

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Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork Kwon Young-WooUntitled, 1985 Gouache, Chinese ink on Korean paper
115.5 x 89 cm
Kukje Gallery
Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork Kwon Young-WooUntitled, 1986 Gouache, Chinese Ink on Korean paper
224 x 170 cm
Tina Kim Gallery
Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork Kwon Young-WooUntitled, 1986 Gouache and ink on paper
121 x 91 cm
Tina Kim Gallery
Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork Kwon Young-WooUntitled, c. 1980s Korean paper
91.5 x 73.5 cm
Tina Kim Gallery
Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork Kwon Young-WooUntitled, 1984 Gouache, Chinese ink on Korean paper
64.5 x 53.5 cm
Kukje Gallery
Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork Kwon Young-WooUntitled, c. 1987 Gouache, Chinese ink on Korean paper
92.5 x 74 cm
Kukje Gallery
Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork Kwon Young-WooUntitled, c. 1980s Korean paper
100 x 81 cm
Tina Kim Gallery
Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork Kwon Young-WooUntitled, c. 1980s Gouache, Chinese ink on Korean paper
91.5 x 72.5 cm
Tina Kim Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

View All (7)
Contemporary art exhibition, Kwon Young-Woo, Various Whites at Kukje Gallery, Seoul
Closed
16 March–30 April 2017 Kwon Young-Woo Various Whites Kukje Gallery, Seoul
Contemporary art exhibition, Kwon Young-Woo, Kwon Young-Woo at Blum & Poe, New York
Closed
1 June–1 July 2016 Kwon Young-Woo Kwon Young-Woo Blum & Poe, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group exhibition, Dansaekhwa and Minimalism at Blum & Poe, New York
Closed
14 April–21 May 2016 Group exhibition Dansaekhwa and Minimalism Blum & Poe, New York

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Joan Kee Ocula Conversation Joan Kee Art Historian, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

Joan Kee has written a seminal book entitled Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method. The book considers Tansaekhwa, one of the most important artistic movements in contemporary art history – yet one that has been significantly over-looked. Tansaekhwa, or Korean monochromatic painting, references a loose grouping of...

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In Related Press

View All (13)
'Systemic Paper' at Blum & Poe, Tokyo Related Press 'Systemic Paper' at Blum & Poe, Tokyo Mousse Magazine : 1 June 2017

The paper in each part of Dorothea Rockburne's series Locus I-VI (1972) is pretty unforgiving. The mixture of lines and edges are slow to reveal detail and require more than a causal glance to let that detail sink in and solidify. But in the company of Korean painter Kwon Young-woo and Japanese artist Rakuko Naito, working with paper takes on...

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Art Basel Hong Kong Related Press Art Basel Hong Kong art agenda : 29 March 2017

Twenty years after the handover of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China, Hong Kong stands at a crossroads. The generation to come of age in the intervening decades has become restless, frustrated by the rejection of demands for universal suffrage (the election for the next Chief Executive takes places tomorrow, March 26, but only 1194...

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Kwon Young-woo discovers 'Koreanness' in paper Related Press Kwon Young-woo discovers 'Koreanness' in paper The Korea Times : 26 March 2017

Korean artist Kwon Young-woo (1923-2013) spent his entire career pursuing the essence of Oriental painting, but not in the traditional ink-and-wash method. Instead, he devoted his life to exploring the unique properties of paper, especially hanji (Korean paper).

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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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In Related Video

Artist Interview | Kwon Young-Woo Related Video & Audio Artist Interview | Kwon Young-Woo Kukje Gallery : 20 March 2017

On the occassion of Kwong Young-Woo's solo exhibition at Kukje Gallery K2, Seoul, as well as his participation in the Kabinett sector of Art Basel Hong Kong 2017, take a look at historical footage of the artist discussing his groundbreaking practice and process in a new video released by Kukje Gallery:

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