Born in Cheongju, Korea, in 1927, Chung Chang-Sup is a key figure of the Korean contemporary art scene. Died at the age of 84, the painter was then unknown outside his homeland.
With iconic figures such as Lee Ufan, Chung Sang-Hwa, Ha Chong-Huyn, Park Seo-Bo or Yun Hyong-Keun, Chung Chang-Sup founded in the mid-1970s the group Dansaekhwa, or ‘Korean Monochrome Painting’. Its members are the precursors of the use of a precise monochromatic palette of colors: mostly white, beige and black.
Chang-Sup mainly worked from a thick mulberry fiber paper (hanji), which he shaped and kneaded in his hands onto the surface of the canvas. His minimalistic style was not due to a reduction technique but rather to a layering and accretion technique that renders the canvas vivid, able to draw the spectator’s attention.
As Dansaekhwa focuses on the meditative aspect of art production, that is to say the link between materials and creators, or between works and viewers, Dansaekhwa paintings are “essentially incomplete” and require the observer’s eye to fully exist.
In this regard, Chang-Sup initiated in the 1990s a series of works called ‘Meditation’ which favored a deeper and more intense line, as an individual and meditative introspection would do. The viewer looks at his works, moves, and each angle shows a different aspect, a different relief, a more or less intense depth, in the same way our mind evolves and reflects.
Mahaut Le Lagadec