Chung Chang-Sup Solo Exhibition
1. A solo exhibition of Korean Dansaekhwa master Chung Chang-Sup in collaboration with Axel Vervoordt Gallery
2. The exhibition focuses on the artist’s significant series 'Meditation,' which is a culmination of his forty-year quest to master the technique with Tak, a natural material that’s made from the inner bark of the mulberry—a native tree in Korea
The Korean Cultural Center in Hong Kong presents a solo exhibition of Korean Dansaekhwa master Chung Chang-Sup in collaboration with Axel Vervoordt Gallery. The exhibition focuses on the artist’s final series in his career “Meditation”, which is a culmination of his forty-year quest to master the technique with tak, a natural material that’s made from the inner bark of the mulberry—a native tree in Korea.
Chung Chang-Sup was a prominent member of the Korean art movement Dansaekhwa. After two decades of studying and practicing Western abstract art, more particularly Art Informel, he experimented with hanji, a handcrafted material.
Chung stated that it was inevitable for him to rediscover hanji: “When I was young, the first thing I saw as soon as waking up in the morning was soft sunlight penetrating through a tak paper window. […] I felt a strong intimacy when reencountering the paper and I was immediately absorbed in experimenting with it for my art.” The core of his interest was the following: “Through the screen of tak paper, one can distinctively sense the wind, light and the flow of time outside his or her room, which allowed us to experience both feelings of being inside and outside. […] This is the realm of creation with no intention of creating.”
His final series “Meditation” is the culmination of the artist’s forty-year pursuit of this technique. For this series, Chung introduced other natural pigments, mostly out of tobacco leaves and charcoal, yet subtly faded and blurred into the yellowish tint from paper mulberry sap. In "Meditation", Chung also introduced the geometry of form. By using a wooden stick, he opened up the thick pulp and shaped a large square, a window to the outside.
Associated with Chung’s exhibition, a special Hanji promotion event ‘Variation of Hanji’ will be held cooperated with the Korea Craft & Design Foundation. In this event, visitors can enjoy the Hanji crafts and goods exhibition; Hanji Preview Book which provides information on 400 kinds of Hanji produced by 18 traditional Hanji workshops; Hanji Wall which shows different Hanji samples classified by regions and colors; Stamping on Hanji experience and more.
Dansaekhwa (or Tansaekhwa, depending on which Romanisation system is used) is a Korean title that means ‘single-colour’ painting. It emerged in the late 1960s and began to take root in the early 1970s, but it was never an official movement. There was no consolidated group of artists who worked together toward actualising a manifesto. The artists to whom this rubric was retroactively attributed by critics like Lee Yil and Nakahara Yusuke, did, however, exhibit in the same shows and even occasionally painted together. What they all had in common was a commitment to thinking more intensively about mark, line, frame, surface, and space and to the process of a physical action that occupied a period of time and took place in a set space.
Despite its literal meaning, Dansaekhwa is very different from most Western monochrome painting, which primarily focusses on the colour itself, taking colour as a physical material and rejecting a varied colour palette for an extremely simplified form. Dansaekhwa looks to a dimension beyond visual abstraction, reinterpreting nature as a reflection of the human mind and returning to nature through creating monochrome planes as the closest feature to nature. Dansaekhwa can be interpreted as a modernised style of the traditional practice in East Asian art that pursues a meditative harmony by blurring the distinction between oneself and nature—the inner and the outer.