Chung Chang-Sup - Meditation 23502, 2003 (detail)

Chung Chang-Sup

August 2, 2013

The Korean artist Chung Chang-Sup was a prominent figure of the Dansaekhwa monochrome movement, a synthesis of traditional Korean spirit and Western abstraction, which emerged in the early 1970s. His work reflects his Taoist belief that the artist must balance material and nature in the unified act of making in order to reach harmony.

Born in 1927 in Cheongiu, South Korea, Chang-Sup graduated from Cheongju School of Education, Cheongju, Korea and College of Fine Arts, Seoul National University, Seoul. His works were exhibited all around the world, including Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Antwerp, Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong, New York and Paris, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, Gwacheon, Korea, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, and Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.

Chang-Sup is known for his highly personal technique of using Korean tak fibre, made of the inner bark of paper mulberry, a tree and plant species native to Asia. The mulberry fibre is soaked, rubbed, and dissolved into pulp, after which the artist would scoop it up, spread it on a canvas, tap and knead it. This is where the artist would surrender control and await the material's spontaneous response. He also used other natural pigments, mostly out of tobacco leaves and charcoal, yet subtly faded and blurred into the yellowish tint from paper mulberry sap.

Featured image: Chung Chang-Sup - Meditation 23502, 2003 (detail). Tak fiber on canvas. 28 7/10 × 35 4/5 in. 73 × 91 cm. Photo courtesy Perrotin