Hasted Kraeutler


Artist Biography


Korean artist Kwang Young Chun (b. 1944) has gained global recognition as a contemporary master of paper. Featuring hand-cut triangles of polystyrene individually wrapped in delicate pages torn from Korean texts, his striking textured canvases and monumental organic sculptures have rippling, sensuous exteriors that evoke the surface of the moon. Much like leading German artist Anselm Kiefer, Chun elevates the most humble of materials into his breathtaking compositions, which transcend their constituent elements and evoke universal aspects of the human condition, though they are shaped by a specifically Korean sense of culture and tradition.

Looking back on his stellar career, Chun recalls the moment that gave birth to his signature aesthetic and technique as some time in the mid 1990s, while he was sick in bed. Reaching for a package of pills wrapped in thin paper, he was suddenly transported back in time to the office of a Chinese doctor he saw as a child, where small sacks of mulberry-paper-wrapped herbs hung from the ceiling. The image of those carefully wrapped packages has proven fundamental to his practice. At once ethereal and firmly rooted in the world of earthly, organic delights, his large objects may appear to hover above the ground like an enormous bee hive or a cosmic bird’s nest, or to explode from the earth’s core like a surge of lava. Viewed up close, however, they reveal themselves as markedly informed by the intellect, encased in book pages both modern and ancient that reference the long trajectory of human history. “The paper bags of Chinese medicine become information the moment the doctor writes their name on it,” he says. “The package I fumbled with on that afternoon is a type of information, a product of human knowledge and experience.”

Chun moved to the United States in the mid-60s, and was immediately drawn to Abstract Expressionism. The movement’s embrace of unresolved tensions, and its juxtapositions of interiority and exteriority, abstraction and figuration, texture and color, reflected his own conflicting impulses and influences. In the ensuing decades, he has incorporated the methods, materials, and sentiments of his heritage into the liberated space he discovered in the U.S., bridging sculpture and painting, and merging a deeply ingrained respect for history with a distinctly contemporary visual language.

Kwang Young Chun received his B.F.A from Korea’s Hong-Ik Univeristy, and has an M.F.A from the Philadelphia College of Art. In the Fall of 2015, Paperdome Art Museum is slated to open. The museum will illuminate international emerging and established artists, working in various fields, and has acquired many of Kwang Young Chun’s works into the permanent collection. Recent major solo museum exhibitions include the Museum of Art Seoul National University (2013) and the Knoxville Museum of Art (2011). In the fall of 2012, the Museum Kunstwerk presented “The Poetry of Materials,” the artist’s first exhibition in Germany, which featured his sculptures alongside works by famed German artist Anselm Kiefer. In 2009, Chun created his largest free-standing paper sculpture to date—just over 14 feet and approximately 650 pounds—for a site-specific presentation at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.

Kwang Young Chun’s works have been acquired by, and are included in esteemed public collections, such as the Rockfeller Foundation in New York, The Victoria and Albert Museum in England, Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington D.C., United Nations headquarters in New York, National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, Philadelphia Society Building, Seoul Museum of Art, National Gallery of Australia at Canberra, Fidelity Investments Boston, Museum Kunstwerk in Germany, and Busan Metropolitan Art Museum, among others. He has received numerous awards and was named artist of the year by The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, in 2001. In 2009, he was awarded the Presidential prize in the 41st Korean Culture and Art Prize by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Korea.



Kwang Young Chun

Sep 04 - Nov 08, 2014

Kwang Young Chun

Sep 06 - Oct 20, 2012



Material Landscapes in the Work of Kwang Young Chun
Sep 04, 2014

Surface Design Journal

Kwang Young Chun
Aug 12, 2014


Kwang Young Chun: Mulberry Mindscapes
Jul 14, 2014

Elle Mexico

Kwang Young Chun
Oct 01, 2013

Wall Street Journal

When Paper Feels Like Boiling Oil
May 24, 2013


Kwang-Young Chun’s Double Feature
May 01, 2013

Arts Observer

Kwang Young Chun: Art with a "Korean Sentiment"
Sep 24, 2012

Arte Fuse

The Aggregate Master of Form – Kwang Young Chun
Sep 19, 2012

EB Cult

REVIEW: Kwang Young Chun // “Aggregation”
Sep 13, 2012

Chelsea Now

Sep 04, 2012

New York Observer / Gallerist NY

Kwang Young Chun to Hasted Kraeutler
Jul 12, 2012

New York Observer

Kwang Young Chun to Hasted Kraeutler
Jul 12, 2012


Surface: The Poetry of Material Exhibition
Mar 14, 2012


Seoul Man
Nov 22, 2011

Korea Herald

Artist Chun tells story with 100,000 triangles, large and small.
May 23, 2011

The New York Times

The Perfect Shape for an unusual space
Dec 23, 2008

New York Times

Chun Kwang Young: Injecting color in arid landscapes
Sep 05, 2008


Kwang Young Chun

Kwang Young Chun opening reception on MBC news
Sep 09, 2014

Kwang Young Chun

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon visits Hasted Kraeutler's exhibition, Kwang Young Chun
Sep 06, 2014

Kwang Young Chun

2014 Exhibition Catalog
Aug 30, 2014

Kwang Young Chun to exhibit at Yale Art University

Odd Volumes: Book Art from the Allan Chasanoff Collection
Jul 16, 2014

Kwang Young Chun

Paperdome Art Museum
Jul 15, 2014

Kwang Young Chun

Kwang Young Chun: Mulberry Mindscapes
May 13, 2014

Kwang Young Chun

Artist reception
Sep 06, 2012


Kwang Young Chun

Hasted Kraeutler
Sep 05, 2014

Mulberry Mindscapes

Skira Rizzoli
May 13, 2014

Kwang Young Chun

Hasted Kraeutler
Feb 15, 2014