Exhibition news: Chun Kwang-young’s Aggregations in Edinburgh’s Dovecot Gallery

A high profile Edinburgh exhibition for Chun Kwang-young in Festival season:

Kwang Young Chun: Aggregations

Daily 10-6pm 31 July to 31 August | Mon-Sat 10.30am-5.30pm 1-26 September
Dovecot Studios | 10 Infirmary Street | Edinburgh EH1 1LT | dovecotstudios.com

Kwang Young Chun, Aggregation 06 - JN028, 2006
Kwang Young Chun, Aggregation 06 – JN028, 2006, 250cm diameter, mixed media with Korean mulberry paper. Images courtesy of Kwang Young Chun Studio

Dovecot Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in Scotland of internationally renowned Korean artist Kwang Young Chun, in partnership with Edinburgh Art Festival from 31 July to 26 September 2015. Chun’s Aggregations unite the traditions of making and Eastern philosophy with the artist’s painterly interest in American Abstract Expressionism to create works of startling originality.

After graduating from Philadelphia College of Art in 1971, Chun spent a period of 20 years embracing Abstract Expressionism as a medium to convey his personal turmoil with the divide between ideals and reality. Chun then sought a new way to communicate his art in a Korean sentiment. A childhood memory of mulberry paper medicine packages with name cards – hanging from the ceiling observed during a visit to a doctor practising Chinese medicine – sparked a significant shift in the artist’s trajectory from two to three dimensional making. By attaching small wrapped packages depicting Korean and Chinese characters to a flat surface, Chun had found a method by which to express his gestures and words. He has since constructed colourful and complex assemblages comprised of triangular forms in various sizes which he views as ‘basic units of information’ creating both harmony and conflict. They are cut from Polystyrene, wrapped in Korean mulberry paper and tied with hand-twisted mulberry paper string. Throughout his work, contrasts are continually apparent – between personal and mass produced, between soft organic forms and jagged cracked fragments, between the whole and its various parts held in perfect tension, and between the specific traditions of a culture and the international language of art. Aggregations bring together a series of works representing both the artist’s reconciliation with the Abstract Expressionism movement and a reflection on the history of human life.

Chun’s mindscapes have the appearance of quoting from textile – where repeat rhythms and rich and blended colours are combined in smaller elements to build up an overall pictorial whole. Dovecot Gallery seeks to promote the work of artists who share concerns for the touch of the human hand in making and crafting works of contemporary art. Chun highlights the areas of cross over and connection between expressive fine art with the detailed precision of lovingly crafted hand-made objects. The results are visually and texturally rich pieces whose immediate visual impact brings them completely into the present moment – belying the long hours of meticulous making and care that has gone into their construction.

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