Chun Kwang Young

Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI) is proud to reveal new paper cast works by eminent Korean artist, Chun Kwang-Young in an endevour never before attempted at STPI that marks a radical step in three-dimensional paper-making. In addition, 17 large scale artworks from Chun's recent retrospective at the Mori Arts Center, Tokyo Japan will be on show. This exhibition aims to present Chun's erratically angled assemblages in natural dyes and sans-colour that invokes visual and tactile textures of paper. Chun‟s startling illusion-of-depth landscapes are triggered by his systematic rigour and explorations in geometric abstraction.

Chun's artworks reflect his intense involvement with both Western art and the rich heritage of his homeland. The series Aggregation which begun in the mid-1990s is composed of hundreds of tiny triangles wrapped in Korean Hanji (mulberry paper). Inspired by Chun's childhood memories, these wrapped triangles are evocative of medicine herbal bundles hung in clusters from the ceiling of his family run pharmacy. Though herbal medicine is a dying art in Korea, Chun is keenly aware of the historical and personal resonance of his chosen medium.

This ambitious project sparked off during Chun's first residency at STPI in 2005 when he saw the possibilities of STPI's paper mill. Chun approached Master Papermaker, Richard Hungerford with a simple paper cast sample and requested for a similar effect to be achieved in greater complexity and scale with his sculptural formations. Hungerford contemplated the demands on time and resources this complex proposal presented, however went ahead with the challenge knowing the end results would be phenomenal. After four years of experimentation and refinement of the paper casting process, what have emerged are large scale paper cast works characterised by a physically complex terrain in minimal white palette where negative and positive spaces are synchronized in delicate articulation. Hungerford's tenacious manipulation of paper pulp captures minute details such as narrow crevices, twill of twine, recessed and raised Korean typography.

Hungerford says, “This rare feat challenges the paper material on various levels and pushes us towards the development of printing on shaped paper. Chun's paper casts gives positive physical evidence that this is possible for future projects.” Emi Eu, Deputy Director of Development and Programming says, “The importance of this project is the purely hand-made process with no machinery involved, where ancient tradition collides with contemporary art – a noteworthy parallel to Chun who composes his constructions out of century-old handmade mulberry paper.” Chun once remarked that his goal is to “tell the story of my culture” and he has stayed true to that aim continually enforcing his quiet but forceful visual vocabulary in various artistic medium and processes.