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Solol Art Museum 《In Dialog: Chung Sang-Hwa》

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  • Date : 2024-05-20
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Solol Art Museum 《In Dialog: Chung Sang-Hwa》

 In Dialog: Chung Sang-Hwa

 

Exhibition Overview

- Exhibition Title: In Dialog: Chung Sang-Hwa

- Period: May 4 (Sat) to August 25, 2024 (Sun)

- Venue: Exhibition Room 1

- Exhibition Category: 13 paintings

- Organizer: May 4, 2024 (Sat) - August 25, 2024 (Sun)

 

Solol Art Museum presents the exhibition In Dialog: Chung Sang-Hwa for a dialog between the works of Chung Sang-Hwa and those of Agnes Martin. In Dialog is a series of exhibition projects designed to connect global art and Korean art, and the first project of the series brought together Lucio Fontana and Kwak In-Sik.

 

The works of Chung Sang-Hwa, representing monochrome abstract painting in Korea, deserves to be discussed alongside the works of Agnes Martin. At the same time that Martin’s paintings were metaphorically expressing the artist’s pure spirituality through understated language, monochrome abstract paintings with an emphasis on performative aspects were forming an important movement in Korea alongside avant-garde experimental art.

 

Chung Sang-Hwa’s “white abstraction” embodies the artistic world of the artist who has experienced the forefront of contemporary art in Korea, Japan, and France for years. In this exhibition, a selection of the most moderate white abstract works is introduced to explore the aesthetic relationship between Chung Sang-Hwa’s geometric works emphasizing performative aspects and Agnes Martin’s painting capturing her poetic sensibility.

 

When you savor the works at a slow pace, you will be able to better feel the depth that emerges from the boundaries between the small interconnected squares on the canvas. You may find your gaze diving into the depths of the serene, calm, static, and meditative variations of color, and this immersive experience is born of the unique and distinctive painting technique deployed by Chung. The unstretched canvas is covered with a layer of pure white kaolin. Then, the gooey canvas is folded and bent along the horizontal and vertical axes. Where cracks appear on the canvas, the dried clay is torn away and the spaces are filled in with acrylic paint. This process of applying, drying, bending, folding, tearing, and filling is repeated over and over again to reveal the artist’s signature surface. The artworks created through this process are not painted, but rather made. The work begins with meticulous planning, yet it expands naturally, as if to settle into its own form. Once the perfect harmony, perfect balance, and perfect form are achieved, the artist steps away and the work is complete.

 

Chung Sang-Hwa refers to his creative activity as “work,” revealing a reluctance to attach any special meaning to the act of creation. His attitude toward his work and the way he lives his life is characterized by a desire to subtract rather than add or fill. He discovers surfaces in surfaces without imbuing them with specific narratives or hidden meanings to be read into. Through the countless repetitions of revealing and filling, he illuminates the boundless space within the surface. This process and the actions performed throughout the course of his work are key to the final outcome. The myriad of chromatic nuances melted into a single color and the subtle movements in the grain that trigger a sensation of visual tactility are experienced as a whole.

 

In Dialog: Chung Sang-Hwa sheds light on the refined white abstract works created by Chung from the 1970s to the 2010s, bringing together his artistic achievements with those of Agnes Martin.

 

[Biography]
Chung Sang-Hwa (1932~)

Born in 1932 in Yeongdeok, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, Chung Sang-Hwa began studying art by chance in middle school. He enrolled in the Fine Art Department at Seoul National University amidst the Korean War in 1953 and began teaching at Incheon Teachers’ College in 1957. As a member of the Contemporary Artists Association and Actuel, he boldly did away with the conventions and formats of traditional painting and experimented with the elements of Art Informel.

 

In 1967, he spent time in Paris, where he was exposed to the latest trends in Western contemporary art, before leaving for Japan in 1969. He lived and worked in Kobe until 1977. During his time in Japan, he developed a close friendship with Yoshihara Jiro, the leader of the radical Japanese artist group Gutai, and his works began to show a gradual shift in style from energetic Art Informel to monochrome abstraction. From 1973 onward, organic forms are no longer apparent in his works, which instead began to be divided into grids. Since then, he has been active in Paris, Japan, and other parts of the world. In 1992, he finally returned to his home country, Korea, and has been active here ever since.

 

Source: Press Release Solol Museum of Art 

 

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