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A Passage through Korean Abstraction

  • Mountain
  • Work 64-513
  • Dancers
  • Untitled 31-III-70 #162
  • Untitled

UntitledKwon Young-woo(1926-2013)


Kwon Young-woo was a leading dansaekhwa artist during the 1970s and 1980s who devoted his lifetime to breaking free from the conventions of tongyanghwa (“East Asian-style” painting) through abstraction. By taking notice of the physical properties of hanji (Korean mulberry paper), Kwon considered paper as having its own formal language beyond merely serving as a support for painting. He experimented with different techniques by pasting layers of hanji together, making perforations or tears, and allowing pigment to disperse along the craters and crevices in the fibers of the paper. In this painting, the pigment gradually bled along the vertical striations made onto the surface of the paper, and the materiality of the paper and the pigment simultaneously evokes tension and relief.

Ink and gouache on paper
224 x 170 cm