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    Sale 2631

    Asian Contemporary Sale (Day Sale)

    1 December 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 903


    Price Realised  


    (Born in 1956)
    signed and dated '1989; Chung Hyun' in Korean (on the stand)
    plaster, manila hemp sculpture
    18.5 x 32 x 83.5 cm. (7 1/4 x 12 1/2 x 32 3/4 in.)
    Executed in 1989

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    The uncannily organic figures exude nimble yet graceful energy, reverberating Chung Hyun's belief in the vitality of existence that breeds essence to humans. The crude personality of nature is weathered onto the surface of the sculptures, activating the primitive characteristic of the industrial material of plaster and steel in response to Mother Nature.

    Chung coyly exhibits his existential endurance by physically displaying the process of life and time by allowing the corrosion of the steel in his Untitled (Lot 903) to assert an impression of a living organ, testifying its existence to the world. Efficiently resembling the form of a grass, Chung inserts a metaphorical layer by utilizing survival characteristics of a grass that fight each other in growth, erratic in its formation purely to testify its existence to the world. With this appreciation, these aesthetic blemishes become a visual rhetoric of the endurance of mankind.

    The abstraction of Chung's recent work has deeply evolved from its 1989 figurative form (Lot 904), reflective of the intellectual growth of the artist himself. The figure has transformed from its corporeal representation to an organic emblem, returning to the foundation of nature, where the purity in material echo the trajectory of existence. Embodying a shift in his conception, he effectively demonstrates that the internal essence precedes the tangible form by stripping away the layers of obvious corporeal features. The raw coarseness of the texture, symbolic of the bumps in life is suggestive of human desolation, which with the untouched integrity of the material of the sculpture metaphorically explains that such adversity is an inevitable natural factor and the only way to survive this inner conflict is acceptance of it.

    The body is suggestive of a barrier or even a shelter; a place, individuals hide their wounds and despair. Chung recognized this restriction and sought to accept his inner suffering as a beautiful ripeness that should be liberated as a survival scar from questioning and conditioning human existence. The abstract sculpture becomes the artist's harmonized acceptance of his introverted hardship as something of maturity, rather than of lonesome pain, where virtues of autonomy is largely directed towards the nurturing of independent selfhood.


    Hakgojae Gallery, Chung Hyun, Seoul, Korea, 2008, pp. 64-65. (illustrated)


    Seoul, Korea, Hakgojae, Chung Hyun, September 3 - 25, 2008.