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CHUN KWANG YOUNG
(B. 1944)
Aggregation 08-JU009
signed in Chinese; signed, titled and inscribed 'Chun, Kwang-Young Aggregation 08-JU009 194 cm x 131 cm MIXED MEDIA WITH KOREAN MULBERRY PAPER' in English; titled in Korean; dated '08'; signed with artist's signature (on the reverse)
mixed media with Korean mulberry paper
195.8 x 132.3 cm. (77 1/8 x 52 1/8 in.)
Executed in 2008
Exhibited
New York, USA, Robert Miller Gallery, Kwang-Young Chun, 4 September-11 October 2008.

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Lot Essay

Chun Kwang Young's quiet but forceful aesthetic vocabulary can be traced back to the 1970s when Chun first delved into Abstract Art. His investigation into different materials, techniques and colors soon built a concrete platform for developing his Aggregation series. Chun's curious play of colours was controlled by his awareness of the role of lighting and illumination. Although he utilized the conventionally Western medium of oil, his innate affinity towards his own culture is apparent in the way he uses thin oil washes in a manner characteristic of ink. Having returned to Korea in 1977, Chun began to revisit childhood memories, especially that of hanging herb paper bags at the herbal medicine dispensary, and he started incorporating them into his artistry. His later works of the 1980s focus on the aesthetic composition found across the compressed elegance that fills the canvas, and feature Chun's characteristic method of meticulous and dynamic repetition that is consistent throughout his artistic career.

Crafted as a relief, Aggregation 02-AG0010 (Lot 1704) resembles the rocky plateaus of the desert, with three-dimensional forms growing out of its rectangular ecology. The works adeptly show Chun's technical virtuosity in simultaneously creating illusion of depth and an intimacy through his choice of materials. Traditional Korean mulberry paper, meticulously dyed with colors taken from nature - green persimmon, gardenia seeds, leaves, chestnut shells, yellow earth and black teas - enhances the perceptual and conceptual complexity in his works. The vivid power of the moving waves in his complicated surface elicits our emotions, perhaps even our innate existential thoughts of the meaning of life and humanity.

In 2004, Chun experienced deeper contemplation on modern society and its impudence towards nature and environment. If his earlier works exhibited an aura of earth's landscape, here, he has brought a lunar landscape of concave depth tinted with sinuous gradation, in the stimulating visual reflex that is Aggregation 08-JU009 (Lot 1703). From oriental landscape to stellar geography, Chun continues to create movingly graceful yet dynamic planes that hark of a changing horizon within the abstract landscape of humanity, where fleeting lights craft a geometric idiom.

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