Chun Kwang Young - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale Hong Kong Friday, October 6, 2023 | Phillips
  • “The hanji that I am currently using are from books between fifty and a hundred years old. Each has its history and each generation of our ancestors’ joys and sorrows can be seen in the thousands of aggregated fingerprints that make my work even more mystical and precious. It’s almost as if these fingerprints are trying to have conversation with me, to explain their reasons for being there.” 
    — Chun Kwang-Young


    Widely acclaimed as a hanji artist, Chun Kwang Young’s works are charged with historical and personal references. Characterised by his highly textural approach to art, Chun’s practice aims to provoke and transcend beyond the liminal confines of a two-dimensional canvas. The artist often draws inspiration from traditional Korean culture and the term hanji denotes to Korean paper handmade from the inner bark of a mulberry tree native to the country. Using hanji as his main source of medium, as is the case with the present work, Chun painstakingly wraps individual pieces of paper to form small geometric packages. This acts as a meditative process as well as enables Chun to reflect deeply upon his own origins.


    The present work belongs to Chun’s most significant and well-received Aggregations series, taking inspiration from his studies in the West where he was exposed to artistic movements such as American and European Abstract Expressionism. This particular series features a gradation of colours and smooth craters that dip beneath the surface. Aggregation 09-A009 exudes a sense of profoundness, which can only be felt when examined up close and in the flesh. As viewers curiously peer into the seemingly bottomless cavities, they are almost engulfed into the depths of the unknown. The title of this series aptly echoes the artist’s creative process, whereby thousands of mulberry paper parcels are assembled tightly together into an 'aggregation' of past memories, reminding the artist of his past illnesses as a child and the way in which medicine was packaged in triangular parcels made with hanji. 


    Over the past five decades as an artist, Chun’s works have been extensively exhibited internationally including Mori Arts Center Gallery, Tokyo; The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut; Columbus Museum, Georgia; The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon; Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Bangladesh, the Wooyang Museum of Contemporary Art, Gyeongju South Korea; the PKM Gallery, Seoul; and the Brooklyn Museum, New York. Additionally, his works remain in the collections of Victoria & Albert Museum, UK, The Seoul National University Museum of Art, Seoul, Museum Kunstwerk, Germany, Woodrow Wilson International Center, Washington D.C; Malta National Museum, Malta and Busan Metropolitan Art Museum, Busan.


    Interview with Chun Kwang-Young about his Aggregation series of which the present work forms part of

    • Provenance

      Private Collection
      Asian Auction Week, Hong Kong, 29 May 2010, lot 89
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner


Aggregation 09-A009

signed, titled and dated 'Chun Kwang-Young [in Hanja] "AGGREGATION 09-A009" 09 Chun Kwang Young' on the reverse
mixed media with Korean mulberry paper mounted on board
92 x 118 cm. (36 1/4 x 46 1/2 in.)
Executed in 2009.

Full Cataloguing

HK$300,000 - 500,000 

Sold for HK$381,000

Contact Specialist

Anastasia Salnikoff
Head of Day Sale, Associate Specialist
+852 2318 2014

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 7 October 2023