Ha Chong-Hyun


oil on hemp cloth
17 3/4 x 39 3/8 inches

To create the works in his Conjunction series (1974-2009), Ha Chong-Hyun repeatedly presses oil paint through the back of coarsely-woven canvas. In Conjunction 92-64, white brushstrokes slowly build up and push through the hemp cloth, creating a meditative monochrome field. Ha was part of a group of Korean artists in the late 1960s and early 1970s that came to be known as Dansaekhwa (“monochromatic painting”). Artists in the group developed a radical approach to painting, in part as a reaction against the dominant style of the academy and the backdrop of an authoritarian South Korea. They soaked canvas, ripped paper, pushed paint, and dragged pencils, breaking down the traditional methods and categories set up by academic institutions. Like other artists in the group, Ha’s process shows real evidence of a tactile, contemplative action and is concrete affirmation of the work’s physical presence. By the early 1980s, Dansaekhwa was the first 20th century Korean art movement to be known internationally, seen at exhibitions in Tokyo, Paris, and Taipei. Ha’s work has been included in numerous exhibitions in Korea and abroad.