Kwang-Young Chun: The Soul-Journey to America 2008. 12. 14 ~ 2009. 05. 24 The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is pleased to announce that noted Korean artist Kwang-Young Chun has created his largest free-standing paper sculpture to date—just over 14 feet and approximately 650 pounds— expressly for presentation in the Museum’s two story Project Space for his exhibition The Soul—Journey to America.

Kwang-Young Chun makes intricate sculpture out of the recycled pages of old Korean books and medicine wrappers printed on mulberry paper. He wraps the handmade paper—inscribed with Korean characters— around thousands of Styrofoam tetrahedrons and other geometric forms that serve as the basic units of his compositions. The forms are then arranged in free-standing three-dimensional sculptures or mounted on the wall as two-dimensional low-reliefs. The new sculpture, which belongs to his Aggregation series, will be installed in the center of the gallery, offering visitors a holistic three-hundred-and-sixty-degree view of the piece, as well as a spectacular bird’s eye vantage from the Project Space balcony.

Curator Richard Klein says, “Chun has been influential to a younger generation of artists and successful in projecting traditional concerns to a broader, more international audience.” Klein continues, “Words become buried in Chun’s forms so that the work resembles organic forms that often grow up from the ground. These crystallized boulders and monumental pods with irregular surfaces reference the natural landscape, which is deeply imbedded in Korean art history, but are created from man-made modules made from both vintage and modern materials.”


KWANG - YOUNG CHUN 2008. 09. 04 ~ 2008. 10. 09 Robert Miller Gallery, New York

Robert Miller Gallery is very pleased to announce a major solo exhibition by the Korean artist Kwang-Young Chun. This is Chun’s first show at the gallery and will include a number of his acclaimed Aggregation pieces.


Chun’s work is immediately recognizable and lends itself to endless scrutiny. The artist folds Korean mulberry paper covered with Korean language characters on small polystyrene forms, and then combines them with a surface to create large scale hybrids of sculpture, printmaking, and painting called Aggregations. The text includes well wishes for the viewer. The works alternately undulate, bristle, erupt or appear flat and puzzle-like. Their large scale makes the presence of the pieces magnetic and absorbing, as their surface and texture elicit close observation. As the viewer approaches a work, it becomes progressively a three-dimensional field, an accumulation of forms and an endless litany of text.


As a child, Kwang-Young Chun spent time at a family herbal medicine dispensary where small sacks of herbs hung from the ceiling, wrapped in mulberry paper and tied with string made of the same material. His personal experience serves as an inspiration for this work and ties Chun to the culture of the Korean peninsula. The world’s finest mulberry paper is made there from the pulp of the tree of the same name, and its use extends far beyond the medicinal. Koreans have covered the walls and floors of their homes with it, crafted tools and utensils, and stored goods in it to keep them from becoming damp.


Chun’s work, characterized by an apparent minimalism from a distance and marked by an incredible intricacy up close, has strong affinities with 20th and early 21st century artistic practice. The Minimalists serve as a point of reference along with early Pop artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns.


Kwang-Young Chun was born in 1944 in Hongchun, Korea. He received his BFA in 1968 from Hong-Ik University, Seoul, Korea and his MFA in 1971 from the Philadelphia College of Art. He was named Artist of the Year in 2001 by the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea and has exhibited widely in Korea and Japan. His work is held in several important Asian and American collections.


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