Seoul-based artist Chun Kwang Young (b. 1944, Hongcheon County, Korea) received his BFA from Hong-Ik University in Korea, and MFA from the Philadelphia College of Art, USA. Known for his sculptural assemblages—both freestanding pieces and wall-hung low reliefs—Chun composes his forms from a myriad of small shapes wrapped in Korean mulberry paper. With a trompe l’oeil quality, Chun’s sculptures create the illusion of depth and coalescence and, ultimately, represent the harmony and conflict in the unity of many.
Inspired by childhood memories of clusters of medicine packages, wrapped in mulberry paper and hung from the ceiling at the clinic, Chun Kwang Young began using this material in his works, deeply imbuing them with distinctly Korean connotations and sensibilities. His well- known sculptural Aggregations feature hand-cut triangles of polystyrene, individually wrapped in delicate mulberry paper pages torn from old books. The result is a strikingly textured low- relief wall work, both visually and materially. Chun also works with monumental sculptural pieces that feature sensuous surfaces rippling with texture, either suspended from the ceiling or rising from the ground.
Chun has been exhibited extensively around the world. Major solo exhibitions include Chun Kwang Young: A retrospective (2016), Wooyang Museum of Contemporary Art, Gyeongju, Korea; Aggregations (2015), Beck & Eggeling Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany; Kwang Young Chun: New Work (2014), Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, UK; Chun Kwang Young Solo Exhibition (2013), Museum of Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea; Kwang-Young Chun: Aggregations (2011), Knoxville Museum of Art, Tennessee, USA; Kwang-Young Chun (2006), Kim Foster Gallery, New York, USA; and a solo exhibition at Fine Art Center (1976), Seoul, Korea.
Major group exhibitions include Structures of Recollection (2016), curated by Paul Moorhouse, Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, China; the Venice Biennale (2015), Palazzo Grimani Art Museum, Venice, Italy; Odd Volumes: Book Art from the Allan Chasanoff Collection (2014), Yale University Art Gallery, Connecticut, USA; Holland Paper Biennial (2006), CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands; Yokohama Contemporary Artists Exhibition (1986), The Museum of Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan; and The Shin Sang Group Show (1966–67), National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, Korea.
Chun Kwang Young’s works have been acquired by and are included in esteemed public collections such as the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington D.C., the United Nations headquarters in New York, the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, the Philadelphia Society Building, Seoul Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Australia at Canberra, Fidelity Investments Boston, Museum Kunstwerk in Germany, and the Busan Art Museum, among others. Named the Artist of the Year by the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, in 2001, Chun has also received many other accolades recognising the unique beauty of his works. Most recently, he was awarded the Presidential Prize in the 41st Korean Culture and Art Prize by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Korea in 2009.