Kwang Young Chun
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.
Notes to Editors:
- Mulberry paper or ‘Hanji’ literally means “the paper of Korea”. The main material is the
fibrous skin of the mulberry. Hanji is not simply paper. It is used in a variety of ways, and
has a different name according to its use. The strong vitality of Korean paper is the
reason it can be used in a multitude of ways. There is an old saying that paper lasts a
thousand years and textiles (such as silk or hemp) last five hundred, reflecting the
superior strength of paper over cloth. Koreans even used Korean paper as a suit of
armor after varnishing the lacquer. It is known that the life span of Korean paper is 1,000
years. More info here: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/CU/CU_EN_8_1_4_1.jsp
- Chun began titling his works with the prefix Aggregation in 1973, acknowledging their
nature as compositions comprised of many similar yet distinct parts; included in the
Dovecot Gallery show will be a large scale suspended sculpture titled Aggregation 06 -
JN028, 2006 and is 250cm diameter, made with Korean mulberry paper
- Recent exhibitions held at Beck & Eggeling Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany, Hasted
Kraeutler Gallery, New York and Bernard Jacobsen Gallery, London. Kwang Young Chun
will show at CODA paper Art Biennale, CODA Museum Apeldoorn, Netherlands and
Palazzo Grimani Art Museum Venice, Italy, Venice Biennial in 2015
- Recent awards include Presidential Prize in the 41st Korean Culture and Art Prize, the
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Seoul, Korea, 2009 and Chun Kwang Young:
Artist of the Year 2001, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea, 2001.
- Kwang Young Chun’s works are held in many prestigious public and private collections
worldwide including; V&A Museum, London; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra;
United Nations Headquarters, New York and in the collection of Burberry’s Chairman
Exhibition open: 31 July to 26 September 2015
Private view: 30 July 6-8pm
This exhibition at Dovecot Gallery is part of Edinburgh Art Festival and supported by Creative
Scotland and Dovecot Foundation.
Check website for opening times www.dovecotstudios.com
Exhibition open to the public:
Daily 10-6pm 31 July to 31 August | Mon-Sat 10.30am-5.30pm 1-26 September
Book for associated events at www.dovecotstudios.com
Event programme in association with Edinburgh Art Festival
For further details check www.dovecotstudios.com and www.edinburghartfestival.com
Press release image credit:
Kwang Young Chun, Aggregation 13 - NV045 RED, 2013, 163cm x 230cm, mixed media with Korean
mulberry paper. Photo courtesy: Kwang Young Chun Studio.
The artist Kwang Young Chun will be available for interview. To arrange an appointment:
More images here (credits in file names):
For press information and further images: Lizzie Cowan, Marketing Coordinator
Dovecot Studios firstname.lastname@example.org T:0131 550 3660 W:www.dovecotstudios.com
Dovecot Studios 10 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LT.
About Kwang Young Chun
Kwang Young Chun (born Hongchun, Korea, 1944) has a BFA from Hon-Ik University in Korea and a
MFA from Philadelphia College of Art. For a full biography and artist’s statement please visit:
About Dovecot Studios
Dovecot Gallery is a landmark centre for contemporary art, craft and design built around a leading
international tapestry studio. Occupying an extraordinary building in the heart of Edinburgh, the
Gallery works to programme, commission and produce exhibitions and events for audiences and
clients who share Dovecot’s passion for making and the creative arts.
Dovecot Tapestry Studio
Dovecot Tapestry Studio is a world-renowned producer of hand-woven tapestry and gun-tufted rugs.
Continuing a century-long heritage of making and collaboration with leading international
contemporary artists, the Studio weavers are dedicated to producing extraordinary and engaging
works of art by commission from private and public collectors from across the globe.
Dovecot Foundation exists to champion Dovecot Tapestry Studio and its place in the world of
contemporary art, design and making. The Foundation puts the Studio at the heart of this mission in
supporting the Dovecot Apprenticeship Programme, collaborations with leading artists from around
the world and development of cultural and educational partnerships. Ultimately, the Foundation
seeks to bring the innovative work of contemporary artists and makers to a wider audience.
Dovecot Studios was founded in 1912 by the Marquess of Bute, a patron of the arts. The first
weavers at Dovecot, Gordon Berry and John Glassbrook, came from the renowned William Morris
Studios at Merton Abbey in Wimbledon. Dovecot’s first commission was for a series of monumental
tapestries for the Marquess’ own home at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute.
In 1946, the Studios were incorporated as The Edinburgh Tapestry Company. Dovecot soon became
established as a leading contemporary fine art tapestry studio, with works commissioned for major
public, corporate and academic institutions worldwide. As a key player in the renaissance of tapestry
in the 20th century, Dovecot’s Master Weavers worked with many leading contemporary artists
including David Hockney, Henry Moore, Frank Stella and RB Kitaj.
Dovecot’s Master Weavers continue to work to commission, producing tapestry and tufted rugs for
private and public collectors. Major tapestry projects include Alison Watt’s Butterfly for Scottish
Opera’s new Theatre Royal, Peter Saville’s Monarch of the Glen and Magne Furuholmen’s Glass
Onion. Working with artists such as Ron Arad, Linder Sterling and Garry Fabian Miller on recent rug
commissions have further tested the boundaries of creativity and play with what the process allows.