(1931 – 2023), South Korea

Park Seo-Bo Biography

In his ongoing 'Ecriture' series of paintings, conceived in the 1960s, Park Seo-Bo strived for tranquility and meditation through repetitive actions. Park was also a long-time educator and leading Dansaekhwa artist recognised for his contributions to the history of modern and contemporary Korean art.

Read More

Early work

Coming of age in the 1950s, Park Seo-Bo was among the young artists who reacted against Kukjeon or the National Art Exhibition system that then dominated the Korean art scene. Against what he perceived as the homogenising academicism of Kukjeon, Park began to explore ways of incorporating elements of abstraction—freshly arrived from North America—and unconventional techniques, thus paving the way for abstract art in Korea.

Ecriture

Primarily working with Korean paper (hanji) and canvas, Park Seo-Bo developed a method of manipulating gesso or paint while the surface is still wet. In his early 'Ecriture' works, the artist used a pencil or a stylus to make repetitive marks; since the 1980s onwards, he has often applied paint to hanji or pushed around its pulp to create uninterrupted spaces.

While influenced by North American Abstract expressionism and Minimalism, Park's paintings are not an uncritical absorption of outside influences but a negotiation between the traditional and the new. Myobop—as 'Ecriture' is known in the Korean language—translates as 'law of drawing', which references Taoist and Buddhist philosophies. Also known as 'the journey of the hand', works belonging to the 'Ecriture' series eliminate individual gestures through repetition and enters a meditative state.

Dansaekhwa

Parallels can be drawn between Park Seo-Bo's 'Ecriture' and the work of his contemporaries, including Lee Ufan, Chung Chang-Sup, and Kwon Young-Woo, who also often employ monochrome colour palettes, humble materials, and repetitive gestures. In 2000, curator and scholar Yoon Jin Sup coined the term 'Dansaekhwa' or Korean Monochrome Painting to consider their work collectively. Today, Park is regarded as a founding figure of Dansaekhwa.

Colours of Ecriture

'Ecriture' has experienced stylistic changes over the years. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Park Seo-Bo worked primarily with black and white, two of the most important colours in East Asia philosophy: black represents time and pure emptiness; white alludes to death, spirituality, and the void. In his interview with Ocula Magazine in 2018, the artist said that he began to use 'colours that heal' in the 21st century in an attempt to create paintings that restore peace in the contemporary world of rapid and drastic changes.

Education and Exhibitions

Park Seo-Bo has led an impressive career as an educator of art in South Korea. Between 1962 and 1994, he taught at Seoul's Hongik University—one of the most prestigious institutions of art in Korea and his alma mater (from which he graduated in 1954). In 1986, the artist became the Dean of the College of Fine Arts, a position he held until 1990. Park continues to support young Korean artists and contemporary Korean art on the international art scene through Seo-Bo Art and Cultural Foundation, founded in 1994.

Park Seo-Bo began to receive international recognition around 2014 with the rise of renewed interest in Dansaekhwa. His paintings have appeared in seminal exhibitions of the movement, including When processs becomes form: Dansaekhwa and Korean abstraction, the Boghossian Foundation, Brussels (2016); Dansaekhwa and Minimalism, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2016); and Dansaekhwa, a Collateral Event of the 56th Venice Biennale (2015).

In 2019, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul organised Park Seo Bo: The Untiring Endeavorer, a major retrospective exhibition of the artist's career. In March 2021, White Cube Bermondsey, London, presented a large solo exhibition of Park's work.

Park Seo-Bo Art Museum

Park Seo-Bo died on 14 October 2023. Among his ongoing projects had been an art museum in his name, which will be completed and open to the public on Jeju Island in 2024.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2023

Park Seo-Bo
featured artworks

View 4 More
Ecriture No.7 by Park Seo-Bo contemporary artwork print
Park Seo-Bo Ecriture No.7, 1996 Print on handmade paper
32 x 41 cm
Mo J Gallery Request Price & Availability
Écriture No. 20-22 by Park Seo-Bo contemporary artwork print
Park Seo-Bo Écriture No. 20-22, 2022 Relief print with Korean hanji paper and hand-colouring
133 x 103 cm
Kukje Gallery Request Price & Availability
Ecriture No. 220423 by Park Seo-Bo contemporary artwork painting, ceramics
Park Seo-Bo Ecriture No. 220423, 2022 Acrylic on ceramic
73.5 x 61 cm
Tina Kim Gallery Request Price & Availability
Ecriture No. 220823 by Park Seo-Bo contemporary artwork painting, ceramics
Park Seo-Bo Ecriture No. 220823, 2022 Acrylic on ceramic
98.3 x 76.5 cm
Tina Kim Gallery Request Price & Availability
Ecriture No. 220727 by Park Seo-Bo contemporary artwork painting, ceramics
Park Seo-Bo Ecriture No. 220727, 2022 Acrylic on ceramic
91 x 72 cm
Tina Kim Gallery Request Price & Availability
Ecriture No. 010721 by Park Seo-Bo contemporary artwork painting, print
Park Seo-Bo Ecriture No. 010721, 2001 Mixed media with Korean paper laid on canvas
130.3 x 162.2 cm
The Columns Gallery Request Price & Availability
Ecriture No. 970315 by Park Seo-Bo contemporary artwork works on paper, mixed media
Park Seo-Bo Ecriture No. 970315, 1997 Mixed media with Korean paper
330 x 195 cm
Mo J Gallery Request Price & Availability
Ecriture(描法) by Park Seo-Bo contemporary artwork painting, drawing
Park Seo-Bo Ecriture(描法), 1976 Pencil on canvas
130 x 160 cm
Mo J Gallery Request Price & Availability
View 4 More

Park Seo-Bo
recent exhibitions

View 12 More
View 12 More

Represented by these
Ocula Member Galleries

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
White Cube contemporary art gallery in Bermondsey, London, United Kingdom
White Cube Hong Kong, London, New York, Seoul, Paris +2
View 12 More

Park Seo-Bo in
Ocula Magazine

Read 7 More
Read 7 More
Learn more about the market for works
by Park Seo-Bo.
Enquire for a confidential discussion. Enquire Now
Simon Fisher, Ocula CEO
Ocula Advisor
Simon Fisher
Christoper Taylor, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Christopher Taylor
Eva Fuchs, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Eva Fuchs
Rory Mitchell, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Rory Mitchell

Park Seo-Bo in
Ocula Advisory

Read 2 More
Read 2 More

Park Seo-Bo in
video & audio

Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Follow Park Seo-Bo
Stay ahead.
Receive updates on new artworks,
exhibitions and articles.
Your personal data is held in accordance with our privacy policy.
Follow
Do you have an Ocula account?
Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Get Access
Join Ocula to request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Do you have an Ocula account? Login
What best describes your interest in art?

Subscribe to our newsletter for upcoming exhibitions, available works, events and more.
By clicking Sign Up or Continue with Facebook or Google, you agree to Ocula's Terms & Conditions. Your personal data is held in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you for joining us. Just one more thing...
Soon you will receive an email asking you to complete registration. If you do not receive it then you can check and edit the email address you entered.
Close
Thank you for joining us.
You can now request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Close
Welcome back to Ocula
Enter your email address and password below to login.
Reset Password
Enter your email address to receive a password reset link.
Reset Link Sent
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Login