Gallery  May 7, 2018  Megan D Robinson

Sundaram Tagore Gallery Presents Intricate Mulberry Paper Works from Korean Artist Chun Kwang Young

© Image courtesy of the artist

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 12 - AP014," 2012, mixed media with Korean mulberry paper, 64.2 x 90.2 inches/163 x 229 cm

Chun Kwang Young’s solo show, Aggregation, opened May 3rd at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New York. Chun’s otherworldly assemblages incorporate both sculpture and painting. His freestanding sculptures and low-relief wall hangings are crafted of triangular cones of antique mulberry paper, or hanji, tinted with tea or pigment.

© Image courtesy of the artist

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 12 - AP014" (detail), 2012, mixed media with Korean mulberry paper, 64.2 x 90.2 inches/163 x 229 cm

These cones are reminiscent of packets of hanji-wrapped medicinal herbs Chun saw in childhood visits to the local doctor. Hanji has deep historical and spiritual significance in Korean culture. Chun’s work merges the traditions of his past with the artistic freedom he experienced as a 1970’s American college student introduced to Abstract Expressionism.

He carefully sources his hanji from antique books between fifty and a hundred years old. “Each has its history and each generation of our ancestors’ joys and sorrows can be seen in the thousands of aggregated fingerprints that make my work even more mystical and precious. It’s almost as if these fingerprints are trying to have conversation with me, to explain their reasons for being there.” His tactile creations resemble geologic formations, calling to mind the limestone hollows of caves, filled with bristling stalagmites and wondrous crystalline growths, or the mysterious cratered surface of the moon.

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 17 - MA028 (Dream 7)," 2017
© Image courtesy of the artist

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 17 - MA028 (Dream 7)," 2017, mixed media with Korean mulberry paper, 59.4 x 59.4  inches/151 x 151 cm

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 17 - MA028 (Dream  7)" (detail), 2017
© Image courtesy of the artist

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 17 - MA028 (Dream  7)" (detail), 2017, mixed media with Korean mulberry paper, 59.4 x 59.4 inches/151 x 151 cm

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 18 - JA006 (Star 1)," 2018
© Image courtesy of the artist

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 18 - JA006 (Star 1)," 2018, mixed media with Korean mulberry paper, 63 inches/160 cm

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 18 - JA006 (Star  1)" (detail), 2018
© Image courtesy of the artist

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 18 - JA006 (Star  1)" (detail), 2018, mixed media with Korean mulberry paper, 63 inches/160 cm

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 17 - NV093," 2017
© Image courtesy of the artist

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 17 - NV093," 2017, mixed media with Korean mulberry paper, 73.2 x 60.2 inches/186 x 153 cm

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 17 - NV093" (detail), 2017
© Image courtesy of the artist

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 17 - NV093" (detail), 2017, mixed media with Korean mulberry paper, 73.2 x 60.2 inches/186 x 153 cm

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 00 - NV306," 2000
© Image courtesy of the artist

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 00 - NV306," 2000, mixed media with Korean 
mulberry paper, 64.6 x 52 inches/164 x 132 cm

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 00 - NV306" (detail), 2000
© Image courtesy of the artist

Chun Kwang Young, "Aggregation 00 - NV306" (detail), 2000, mixed media with Korean mulberry paper, 64.6 x 52 inches/164 x 132 cm

Chun’s work is in numerous public collections around the world. He was named  Artist of the Year by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, in 2001, and, in 2009, was awarded the Presidential Prize in the 41st Korean Culture and Art Prize by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Aggregation runs until June 16th, 2018, at Sundaram Tagore Chelsea, 547 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001. For more information, visit http://www.sundaramtagore.com

About the Author

Megan D Robinson

Megan D Robinson writes for Art & Object and the Iowa Source.