Kwang Young Chun: Mulberry Mindscapes

The first monograph on Korean artist Kwang Young Chun, renowned for exquisite handmade mulberry paper sculptures and textured surfaces that represent harmony and conflict in the unity of many. Covering the entirety of Kwang Young Chun’s career from his early abstract paintings to his famed Aggregation series—complex structures and canvases created from the antique, handmade mulberry paper pages of literary and academic texts and tinted with teas, fruits and flowers—this book documents a highly influential contemporary artist whose work, writes the New York Times, “…makes you sense something fundamental about great art that is too often forgotten or overlooked in today’s age of instant everything….”

The use of traditional materials and organic dyes, and his meticulous process, imbues Chun’s compositions with a timeless quality that has been recognised around the world. In 2001 Chun received the artist of the year award from the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea. His works are included in esteemed public collections such as the United Nations and Rockefeller Foundation in New York, the National Gallery of Australia at Canberra, and were recently exhibited in a three-man show with Anselm Kiefer and Gotthard Graubner at the Kunstwerk museum in Eberdingen-Nussdorf, Germany (2012).

The book includes such special features as a gatefold, tinted pages, and a jacket printed on hanji, traditional handmade Korean mulberry paper.

About The Author

John C. Welchman is Professor of Art History at the University of California, San Diego. He has written for numerous publications including Artforum, the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and the Economist. His books include Invisible Colours: A Visual History of Titles, Modernism Relocated: Towards a Cultural Studies of Visual Modernity, Art After Appropriation: Essays on Art in the 1990s, and XX to XXI: Essays on Contemporary European Art. He is editor of Rethinking Borders, Institutional Critique and After; The Aesthetics of Risk, Black Sphinx: On the Comedic in Modern Art, Sculpture and the Vitrine and the collected writings of Mike Kelley (in three volumes to date).

Carter Ratcliff is a leading art critic and contributing editor to Art in America. He has received the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Art Critics Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Poets Foundation Grant. His books include Andy Warhol, Gilbert & George, and The Fate of a Gesture: Jackson Pollock and Post-War American Art.

  • Publish Date: May 13, 2014
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Art - Individual Artists - General
  • Publisher: Skira Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 10 x 12
  • Pages: 180
  • US Price: $50.00
  • CDN Price: $50.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4254-4


"This weighty monograph spans South Korea–born artist Chun’s impressive 40-year career. Remembering the doctor of his youth who dispensed packets of medicine wrapped in mulberry paper, Chun embarked on a series of works using hundreds of pieces of this mulberry paper wrapped around Styrofoam and tied with string. Varying the sizes and dimensions of the packets and coloring them with dyes, these ”Aggregations” either functioned as 3-D paintings on walls or floors, or were fashioned into massive spheres and sculptures. Up close, the meticulous handiwork of these pieces is remarkable, but the paper contains words whose meanings are obscured; the objects’ jagged surfaces and deep craters evoke human scars and conflict. This handsome volume is wrapped in an asymmetrical jacket made from mulberry paper. Chun’s life is chronicled and his work celebrated in essays by UCSD art professor Welchman and art critic Ratcliff. The artist himself contributes an engaging essay about his rise as an artist." -Publishers Weekly

"...the book will explore Chun's work and use of traditinoal materials and organic dyes, and reflect on how these meticulous processes have been recognised around the world." -London Korean Links

Author Bookshelf: Carter Ratcliff