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New York Times Features Korean Artist

Posted August. 16, 2006 03:02,   


“Korean Artist Turns Old Mulberry Paper into Modern Art”

The New York Times introduced the works of South Korean artist Chun Kwang-young (62, picture) under this title on August 14.

The paper reported, “Mr. Chun’s work contains the soul of the people who touched the old paper,” and added, “By using old paper that has been touched by several generations, he adds spiritual meaning to his work.”

Chun is an artist well known for using old mulberry paper to wrap thousands of thick plastic and then gluing the pieces delicately onto panels. He received a master’s degree in Western Art at Philadelphia University, but he felt limited in oil paintings and couldn’t set his course for decades. Then he opened his eye to an entirely different world of art when he was over 50 years old.

The paper said, “For three years, the South Korean artist Kwang-young Chun has been buying discarded Korean books and has accumulated more than 20,000. He doesn’t buy the books for content but for the handmade mulberry paper they are printed on,” and added, “These small pieces of paper, sometimes 100 years old, have been the cornerstone of his art.”

The article also contains an interview with Chun who said, “For me, the old paper has a life, a history. It contains the souls of the people who touched it. In a way, I’m wrapping the stories of people’s lives.” Chun’s mulberry paper works will be on view in Manhattan, New York, from September 7 to 21.

Ahead of this, Mr. Chun had a private exhibition in London last June at the invitation of one of the world’s top 10 famous galleries, Annely Juda Fine Art, the first time for a Korean artist. At that time, the British media including The Times praised his works by quoting analysts saying, “Black and white contradiction using mulberry paper gives spiritual sympathy to the Koreans and a sense of mystery about Oriental sentiment and Eastern spiritual world to Western art aficionados.”