Aggregation 97-106
signed in Korean, titled, inscribed, dated, and signed again 'AGGREGATION 97-106 94cm x 68cm MIXED MEDIA WITH Korean Paper -97 Kychun' (on the reverse)
mixed media with Korean mulberry paper
94 x 68 cm. (37 x 26 3/4 in.)
Executed in 1997
Private Collection, USA
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Lot Essay

Chun Kwang-Young is one of the leading Korean contemporary artists who is highly acclaimed for his unconventional, large-scale sculptures composed of mulberry paper. In his early career, Chun pursued his MFA at the Philadelphia College of Art, where he was first influenced by Abstract Expressionism. It wasn’t long until Chun shifted his aesthetic to reconnect with his Korean roots. Chun returned to Korea and recalled the extensive use of mulberry paper in villages, books and packaging for medicinal herbs. Consequently, Chun developed his signature technique of using traditional mulberry paper from discarded books to express the power of his ancestry and heritage.

The lot Aggregation 97-24 is part of his most renowned sculptural series Aggregation. Inspired by traditional Korean origami, Chun folds mulberry paper into a complex, abstract assemblage and paints over them using natural dyes and pigments such as tea.As with the rest of the works in the series, the sculptural composition conveys binary themes of harmony and conflict, nostalgia and futurism, as well as power and fragility. He explains, “to me, the triangle pieces wrapped in mulberry paper are the basic units of information—the basic cells of life that only exist in art—as well as independently expressive social events or historical facts. By attaching these pieces one by one to a two-dimensional surface, I wanted to express how the basic units of information can create harmony and conflict with each other”. Using traditional materials within a contemporary context, Chun creates a masterpiece that is highly personal yet inviting.

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