A member of the Korean monochrome movement Dansaekhwa, Chung Chang-Sup crafts “unpainted paintings” that blend the traditions of Korean paper making with the simplified form of geometric abstraction. The dense wood fibers in Chung’s Meditation No. 20708 pile upon one another before ceding to the pressed square that floats within the monochrome space. The simplicity and rugged beauty of the piece is achieved through attentive soaking and kneading of the wood fibers that are then mixed with a homemade glue before being pressed into the composition. The visible fibers of the paper and its muted off-white and brown hues presents nature and the respectful manipulation of materials as one act, and characterize Chung’s pursuit of “oneness of self and material.” The very physical process comes from the traditions of Korean tak paper making, with the colors present coming from adjustments in soaking time and handling of the wood pulp. The finished work, sitting between relief, painting, and traditional decorative arts, engages with the importance of white in Korean culture while presenting a balance between nature and action.
and tina kim gallery, new york