REVIEW: Kwang Young Chun // “Aggregation”
Kwang Young Chun’s Solo Exhibition “Aggregation” is On Display at Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, NYC through October 20
By Jenni Crain
September 13, 2012
Kwang Young Chun is at it again! For the remainder of this month and through to October 20th, the South Korean artist will be exhibiting the most recent additions to his “Aggregation” series at Hasted Kraeutler. The commencement of this series in the 1990’s catapulted Mr. Chun into the realm of renowned artists. The works, which take the forms of two-dimensional “paintings”, free standing sculptures and hanging spheres, are composed of hundreds if not thousands of various sized triangular shapes arranged and assorted with paramount precision and care. Each of the triangular forms are wrapped with “hanji”, mulberry paper from important Korean texts, and tied, emoting the most precious of parcels.
The shapes are then individually dyed manifold shades using natural herbs and flowers. Each color reflects a specific intent for Chun – “The red color symbolizes my confidence in me and my people. The blue means hope. I also tried some more emerald colors for my latest ones, to offer something to help the viewers, to help them relax.” The artist resists assembling the works first and reacting with color application, “so that the color remains imbedded into the depths of the paintings.” Perhaps one of the most astonishing elements of Chun’s practice is that he completes each work entirely himself. When asked how long it takes to create each piece, Mr. Chun replied, “maybe six months. When people ask why? Because I like it. This is my way. I enjoy my work. This is my way, this is my art.” Kwang Young Chun succeeds in bringing ancient Korean customs and history into relevance relating to both our current social structures and the contemporary art world – “I love nature and I want to live my life in harmony with nature. Our ancestors lived modestly and simply, and thought all lives should be respected. I hope my work can take this traditional Korean message forward to modern society.”