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Born in Hongchun, Korea in 1944 Chun Kwang Young was educated in Korea and America, completing his formal education at Hong-lk University in Seoul and Philadelphia College of Art in 1971. His career spans around half a century and he is widely considered to be a master of paper-based art and installation.
Today, Chun Kwang Young’s aesthetic vocabulary is defined by his abstract use of traditional Korean mulberry paper in his distinctive Aggregation series. Crafted from foam wrapped in Mulberry paper, Chun creates large-scale freestanding and wall-hung reliefs reminiscent of rocky terrains. Many works give the appearance of almost otherworldly topographies, perhaps inspired by the Space Race of the 60s and 70s which the artist witnessed during his time in America. With the appearance of crevices and craters, his wall hung reliefs create an illusion of depth by employing tonal graduation to mimic light and dark.
Inspired from his childhood memories of medicine wrapped in mulberry paper, Chun Kwang Young’s abstract constructions bridge Korean traditions and Western Modernism. Each piece is carefully dyed, wrapped and arranged individually in triangular forms to assemble the composition. The triangles of mulberry paper, often claimed from 100-year-old textbooks, provide the viewer with fragments of various topics. The pre-war textbooks are holistic in nature, containing Chinese and Korean characters and multiple subjects such as philosophy, medicine and chemistry. The highly durable mulberry paper is oil-repellent and thus lasted for many generations.
Chun Kwang Young lives and works in Boondang-gu, South Korea. His works can be found in numerous public collections worldwide including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Museum Kunstwerk, Germany, Malta National Museum and the National University Museum of Art in Seoul.