Kwang Young Chun
Korean artist Chun Kwang Young incorporates elements of both painting and sculpture in his practice. He is best known for his acclaimed Aggregation series: freestanding and wall-hung amalgamations of small, triangular forms wrapped in antique mulberry paper, often tinted with teas or pigment.
Born in Hongchun, South Korea, in 1944, Chun grew up during the end of Japanese colonization and the brutality of the Korean War. In the early 1970s, he moved to the United States to pursue a Master’s Degree at Philadelphia College of Art, where he was deeply drawn to Abstract Expressionism. “It seemed to be the best way to freely express my surprise and sadness at witnessing the huge gap between idea and reality,” he says.
Over time, Chun became disillusioned with the materialistic drive that seemed to fuel the American dream and feelings of loneliness intensified his longing for home. During this period, Chun’s paintings, which explored the effects of light and color, reflected his interest in Abstract Expressionism, however, he ultimately found the expression inauthentic. Chun decided to return to Korea and focus on developing his own methodology, one that was wholly unique and reflective of his history and cultural identity.
The development of Chun’s signature technique was sparked by childhood memories of seeing medicinal herbs wrapped in mulberry paper, tied into small packages and hung from the ceiling of the local doctor’s office. He became intrigued with the idea of merging the techniques, materials and sentiment of his Korean heritage with the conceptual freedom he experienced during his Western education.
Over the years, Chun’s Aggregations have become more colorful and evolved in complexity and scale, but the use of mulberry paper remains at the core of his practice. Although imbued with the spirit of Korean tradition and history, Chun’s work, with its intricate, abstract compositions, is grounded in a purely contemporary context.
Chun Kwang Young received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Hongik University, Seoul and a Master of Fine Arts from the Philadelphia College of Art, Pennsylvania. His work is in numerous public collections, including The Rockefeller Foundation and the United Nations, New York; the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C.; the Philadelphia Society Building, Pennsylvania; the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, and the Seoul Museum of Art; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the National Museum of Fine Arts, Malta.
He was named Artist of the Year by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, in 2001 and in 2009 he was awarded the Presidential Prize in the 41st Korean Culture and Art Prize by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Born 1944 in Hongchun, Korea | Lives in works in Seongnam, Korea
BROOKLYN MUSEUM SUNDARAM, Tagore Gallery PKM Gallery, New York, USA, New York, USA Seoul, Korea
MUSEUM DE REED BECK & EGGELING Gallery Pearl Lam Galleries Villa Empain - Boghossian Foundation, Antwerp, Belgium Vienna, Austria HongKong, China Brussels, Belgium
WOOYANG MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, Artsonje museum, Gyeongju, Korea
PEARL LAM GALLERIES BECK & EGGELING GALLERY DOVECOT STUDIO EDINBURGH (Festival), Singapore, Singapore Dusseldorf, Germany Edinburgh, UK
HASTED KRAEUTLER GALLERY BERNARD JACOBSON GALLERY, New York, USA
ART PLURAL GALLERY MUSEUM OF SEOUL NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, Singapore, Singapore Seoul, Korea
HASTED KRAEUTLER GALLERY Towson University Asian Art Center Lynchburg College Daura Gallery, New York, USA Maryland, USA Virginia, USA
KNOXVILLE MUSEUM OF ART GALLERY HYUNDAI CONNY DIETZSCHOLD GALLERY, Tennessee, USA Seoul, Korea Sydney, Australia
SINGAPORE TYLER PRINT INSTITUTE, Mori Arts Center Gallery University of Wyoming Art Museum, Singapore, Singapore Tokyo, Japan Wyoming, USA
ROBERT MILLER GALLERY The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, New York, USA gefield, Connecticut
KIM FOSTER GALLERY Annely Juda Fine Art Singapore Tyler Print Institute Michelle Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, London, Singapore, New York
KUKJE GALLERY, Seoul
KIM FOSTER GALLERY Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York
NEW CONTEMPORARIES CONNY DIETZSCHOLD GALLERY, Sydney
KUKJE GALLERY MICHELLE ROSENFIELD GALLERY KIM FOSTER GALLERY Columbus Museum
‘2001 THE ARTIST OF THIS YEAR’, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon
KIM FOSTER GALLERY COMEMENOZ GALLERY, KEY BISCAYNE MICHELLE ROSENFELD GALLERY, Florida New York
PARK RYU-SOOK GALLERY KIM FOSTER GALLERY, Seoul, New York
GALLERY SIKONG, Taegu
GALLERY BHAK, Seoul
GALLERY BHAK, Seoul
JONG RO GALLERY, Seoul
GALLERY HYUNDAI, Seoul
GALLERY DONG SUNG ARTS CENTER, Seoul
GALLERY YOON, Seoul
GALLERY HYUNDAI, Seoul
KWAN HOON GALLERY, Seoul
SIROTA GALLERY, Tokyo
KWAN HOON GALLERY MURAMATSU GALLERY, Seoul, Tokyo
AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER GALLERY, Seoul
LOTUS GALLERY MALTA NATIONAL MUSEUM, Saint Julien Shin Sea Gea Gallery, New York, Malta, Seoul
FIFTH ST. GALLERY, Wilmington, Delaware
FIFTH ST. GALLERY FINE ART CENTER, Wilmington, Delaware Seoul
LOTUS GALLERY, New York
INTERNATIONAL HOUSE GALLERY, Philadelphia
SEOUL CULTURAL CENTER GALLERY, Seoul