Kwang Young Chun_Beck & Eggeling_1.jpg

Life and Work

Kwang Young Chun © Beck & Eggeling

Kwang Young Chun is regarded as a contemporary master in his work with paper and enjoys worldwide recognition for his installations and three-dimensional reliefs. Chun meticulously creates striking surface structures by wrapping hundreds of hand-cut polystyrene triangles in inscribed Korean tissue paper, so-called »mulberry paper«, then arranging and fixing. The result is three-dimensional wall works with sculptural potential.

The tissue paper, which the artist takes from old books and magazines, retains its Korean character through the visible characters and is also often colored with natural dyes from fruits, flowers, earth, or tea. These astonishing creations melt together in waves of color and swell up and down before the viewer’s eyes, while their surface structures evoke aerial images of natural phenomena such as undulating flower fields, desert and crater landscapes, or scarred moon landscapes.

Sensitively and accurately modeled, Chun's works are the result of great care and extreme precision. The viewer has the opportunity to experience an inherent, self-contained balance and unmistakable tranquillity through Chun's work.

Reduced to the simplest of materials, the artist expresses aspects of human existence in his universal and contemporary pictorial language, while at the same time a specifically Korean sense of culture and tradition speaks through his work. This ability to communicate with an individual visual language while simultaneously reflecting on his South Korean origins is also characteristic of decisive moment in Chun's international career, which began in 1995 and was influenced by a childhood memory. The memory of his uncle, a practicing doctor, who hung his medical herbs, wrapped in tissue paper, closely together from the ceiling, led Chun to use this traditional tissue paper, found in every household, as artistic material for his work.

Kwang Young Chun was born in 1944 in Hongcheon, South Korea and did his B.F.A., Hong-Ik University, Korea, and Philadelphia College of Art, Philadelphia. He lives and works in Boondang-gu, South Korea. His works are represented in renowned public collections such as the Rockefeller Foundation, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington D.C.; United Nations in New York; National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul; Seoul Museum of Art; National Gallery of Australia in Canberra; and the Busan Metropolitan Art Museum.


1944 born in Hongcheon, South Korea, KR
1968 B.F.A., Hong-Ik University, Korea, KR
1971 M.F.A., Philadelphia College of Art, Philadelphia, US
lives and works in Bundang-gu, South Korea, KR

Prizes and Awards

2009 Präsidentenpreis des 41. koreanischen Kunst- und Kultur-Preises, The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Seoul, KR
2001 Chun Kwang Young – Artist of the Year 2001, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, KR
1974 Silber-Preis der 27. Cheltenham Art Center Exhibition, Cheltenham Art Center, Cheltenham, US
1973 Sonderpreis der Earth Art II, Civic Center Museum, Philadelphia, US
1969 Sonderpreis der 18. koreanischen National Arts Exhibition, Korean Culture and Arts Foundation, Seoul, KR
1968 Sonderpreis der 6. Shin Sang Group Exhibition, National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, KR
1967 Sonderpreis der Korean Contemporary Artist’s Invited Exhibition, National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, KR
Sonderpreis der 5. Shin Sang Group Exhibition, National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, KR

Works (Selection)

Kwang Young Chun, Aggregation 02-OC008, 2002
Kwang Young Chun, Aggregation 02-OC008, 2002
Kwang Young Chun, Aggregation 001- A005, 2001
Kwang Young Chun, Aggregation 001- A005, 2001
Kwang Young Chun, Aggregation 99-JU.156, 1999
Kwang Young Chun, Aggregation 99-JU.156, 1999


© Chun Kwang Young

© Kwang Young Chun & Beck & Eggeling

Solo exhibitions (selection)

2018 Chun Kwang Young Solo Show, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, US
Chun Kwang Young WORKS 1975-2018, PKM Gallery, Seoul, KR
Chun Kwang Young – Aggregation, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New York, US
2017 Chun Kwang Young – Chaotic Harmony II, Museum de Reede, Antwerp, BE
Chun Kwang Young, Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, CN
Beck & Eggeling, International Fine Art, Vienna, AT
Chun Kwang Young, Fondation Boghossian, Brussels, BE
2016 Chun Kwang Young - A Retrospective, Woo Yang Museum, Gyeongju, KR
2015 Mulberry Mindscapes, Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art, Dusseldorf, DE
Aggregation, Pearl Lam Gallery, Singapore, SG
Edinburgh Festival, Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh
2014 Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London
Kwang Young Chun, Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, New York, US
2013 Chun Kwang Young – Assemblage, Art Plural Gallery, Singapore, SG
Museum of Seoul National University, Seoul, KR
2012 Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, New York, US
Towson University Asian Art Center, Maryland, US
Lynchburg College Daura Gallery, Virginia, US
2011 Knoxville Museum of Art, Tennessee, US
Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, KR
Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Sydney, AU
2009 Mori Arts Center Gallery, Tokyo, JP
University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, Wyoming, US
Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore, SG
2008 The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, US
Robert Miller Gallery, New York, US
2006 Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore, SG
2002 Columbus Museum, Columbus, US
2001 2001 The Artist of this year, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, KR
2000 Comemenoz Gallery, Key Biscayne, US
1999 Park Ryu-Sook Gallery, Seoul, KR
1997 Gallery Bhak, Seoul, KR
1992 Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, KR
1986 Sirota Gallery, Tokyo, JP
1980 American Cultural Center Gallery, Seoul, KR
1979 Lotus Gallery, New York, US
1972 Holly Solomon Gallery, New York, US
1968 Seoul Cultural Center Gallery, Seoul, KR

Group exhibitions (selection)

2016 Structures of recollection: Contemporary approaches to materials & memory, Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, CN
2015 56. Biennale Venedig, Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice, IT
San Museum, Wonju, KR
Spalding house: LESS = MORE, Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, US
2014 Odd Volumes: Book Art from the Allan Chasanoff Collection, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, US
2013 We Awe – Contemporary Art from Korea, How Art Museum, Wenzhou, CN
2012 Design Futurology, Museum of Art Seoul National University, Seoul, KR
Museum KUNSTWERK – Sammlung Alison und Peter W. Klein, Eberdingen-Nussdorf, DE
2011 Impression Gallery, Taipeh, CN
2010 I am the Cosmos, New Jersey State Museum, New Jersey, US
Aldrich Undercover 2010, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, US
2009 Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Sydney, AU
Urban Archeology, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, US
2008 Midnight Full of Stars, Visual Art Center, New Jersey, US
Undercover Project, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, US
2007 Addicted to Paper, Galerie Lelong, Zurich, CH
2006 Holland Paper Biennial, CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, NL
2005 Seoul Art Exhibition, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, KR
2004 The Art Scene in New York, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York, US
2003 Crossings 2003 – Korea/Hawaii, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, US
2001 Compelled, Hunterdon Museum of Art, New Jersey, US
2000 San Francisco Art Exhibition, Park Ryu-Sook Gallery, San Francesco, US
Gwenda Jay/ Addington Gallery, Chicago, US
1998 Crossing Boundaries, Gallery V, Columbus, US
1996 Anthology of Contemporary Painting Artists, Da Do Gallery, Seoul
1995 Exhibition of Paper – Korea and Japan Contemporary Artists, Chong Ro Gallery, Seoul
1985 ISPPA, Walker Hill Museum, Seoul
1982 Korea Today’s Artists Exhibition, Kwang Hoon Gallery, Seoul
1977 The Invited Show 2 Contemporary Artists, Fifth St. Gallery, Wilmington, US
1975 Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, US
1973 Earth Art Modern, Philadelphia Civic Center Museum, Philadelphia, US
1966 The Shin Sang Group Show, National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul



BE Highlights 2020

BE Highlights 2020

  • Artists: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Aljoscha, Herbert Beck, Gehard Demetz, Bertozzi & Casoni, Joachim Brohm, Marc Chagall, Heribert C. Ottersbach, Kwang Young Chun, Lucien Clergue, Piero Dorazio, Gerhard Hoehme, Anselm Kiefer, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Heinz Mack, August Macke, Fausto Melotti, Giorgio Morandi, Edvard Munch, Emil Nolde, Pablo Picasso, Fabrizio Plessi, Rudolf Polanszky, Chris Reinecke, Gerhard Richter, Norbert Tadeusz, Manolo Valdés
    Editor: Michael Beck, Ute Eggeling
    Text: Aljoscha, Michael Beck, Jil Campisi, Ute Eggeling, Andrea Knop, Andrea Krause, Kirsten Nordahl, Katja Ott, Heribert C. Ottersbach, Sebastian Schemann, Miriam Walgate
    Design: Antonia Eggeling
  • German, English
    Softcover, 25 x 21 cm
    120 pages, 92 illustrations
  • Beck & Eggeling Kunstverlag, 2020
    ISBN 978-3-94606324-7
  • 20 €
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