CHUN KWANG-YOUNG (Korean, B. 1944)

Aggregation 07-D118

CHUN KWANG-YOUNG (Korean, B. 1944)
Aggregation 07-D118
signed in Chinese; signed 'Chun Kwang-Young' in English; titled 'AGGREGATION 07-D118'; dated '07' (on the reverse)
mixed media with Korean mulberry paper
260 x 195 x 16 cm. (102 x 76 3/4 x 5 1/4 in.)
Executed in 2007

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Lot Essay

Chun is internationally recognised for his innovative use of materials and unique approach to abstraction.
As a student at the Philadelphia School of Art in the early 1970s, Chun Kwang-Young was exposed to a broad range of art movements from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art, Minimalism and Conceptualism which had dominated the art world in the States during the 1960s and 1970s. Chun vigorously absorbed these art movements, yet always in his own style. Chun's intense endeavor to find his own style came to fruition in 1995 when he delved into traditional Korean paper hanji, made from mulberry trees and developed his signature series of Aggregation. Hanji stands as a highly allegorical medium itself, engulfing the customs, values, history, and spirit of Korea. Its extreme durability makes it an essential material in daily life, and it gradually grew on the hearts of Koreans as a symbol of emotional and spiritual experience. His childhood memory of seeing herb package of hanji dangling from the rafters at the Chinese medicine dispensary in his hometown is what offered him the artistic perception and experience beyond the quotidian existence. Incorporating with his memory, Chun set out to create a basic unit for his work, wrapping triangular Styrofoam in hanji from antique books, fastened together with knotted hanji rope. The triangular elements, which he calls 'the minimal unit of information,' evolved from those hanji bags of herbal medicine. As Aggregation10-AP009RED (Lot 544), Aggregation 07-D118 (Lot 545), and Aggregation 98-S101; & Aggregation D00-50S (Lot 579) exquisitely display, Taoism of nothingness and the unity with nature is felt through Chun's gracious yet intensive dexterity in his periodic procedure of wrapping. Through this process, Chun successfully adopts a painterly role as the two-dimensional surface in chorus with the triangular assemblages that add an element of sculpture. The repetitive movement of wrapping becomes an enactment for meditation for the artist, hence steadily transferring his energy and poetic monologues into the wrapped component, tracing himself within a space and spreading to the infinity of the canvas, thus, becoming one with his painting.

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