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Press Release

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

Victor Barnett.

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 lizziecowan@dovecotstudios.com 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

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

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.