Park Seo-Bo - Modern & Contemporary Art Day Sale Hong Kong Saturday, June 1, 2024 | Phillips
  • “In my art, the process is more important than the result.”
    — Park Seo-Bo



    Widely renowned as a pioneering leader of the Dansaekhwa (monochrome paintings) movement, Park Seo-Bo is best known for his highly coveted Ecriture series. This notable body of work was established in the early 1960s, during a time when Korea underwent drastic social and cultural changes. In this series, Park’s artistic practice of repeatedly drawn lines is like breathing and embarks a meditative spiritual journey that ‘empties him’ and liberates him from a supposed contemporary-art style. Artists such as Park embraced an introspective and novel approach to art making – developing a timeless visual language that displayed a sign of progressiveness and one that persists in his practice today.


    Taking reference from the Dansaekhwa movement’s tactile qualities and the Korean philosophy of assimilation with nature, Park’s Ecriture series probes notions of time, space, and materiality. Ecriture No. 110507 stands as one of the most visually arresting works by the artist to appear at auction as it is rendered in a blazing red that immediately differentiates itself from other works in the series and invites the viewers to embark on a spiritual journey. The choice of applying vivid reds into this significant series was inspired by Park’s visit to Fukushima for his seventieth birthday. He was fascinated by the breathtaking hues of Japan’s autumnal foliage, in particular the maple forests that encompassed Mount Bandai. By transferring this renewed palette into his practice, Park engenders an otherworldly sensation which can only be felt whilst standing in front of the work itself. 


    Detail of the present lot


    “We do not distinguish between nature and humans. In other words, we unify them, treating humans as just one part of nature. Resisting the binary. This is the reason we want to adapt to nature, to live as just one part of nature. This is why (we) buy nature. Hanji takes everything into itself. It embraces all. And at the same time it does the work of unifying into one. It is very much in keeping with this world, this view of nature that we hold.”
    — Park Seo-Bo


    Executed in 2011, the present work hails from a later group of works from Park’s Ecriture series where the artist departed from his earlier ‘drawing method’ and began to expand upon his visual language through implementing the use of hanji – a traditional Korean paper hand-made from mulberry bark – as a new source of medium. When viewed closely, the present work reveals an endless field of repetitive marks, emanating a profound sense of rhythmic dynamism. It presents a hidden discovery that holds elements of both trompe l’oeil visual deceit and the sculptural application of paint. This visual sensation is achieved via the process of systematically adhering layers of saturated and water-absorbed hanji onto Park’s canvas. He then proceeds to meticulously mold them into long strips of furrows with the pressure of his fingers and painting tools, creating peaks and troughs that run vertically and evenly down the composition. These marks directly reflect the movement of Park’s body and further induces a therapeutic balance between the positive and negative spaces transporting viewers into a deeply meditative trance.


    Ecriture No. 110507 features a darker, purplish red rectangular field that runs across horizontally, splitting the composition in near halves. It nods to the view from the artist’s studio in Seoul, where he overlooks a bridge and by extension, the present work can be understood as a balance between the natural and constructed, further signifying Park’s quest for inner peace through reduction.

    • Provenance

      Art Issue Projects, Taipei
      Acquired from the above by the present owner



Ecriture No. 110507

signed, titled, inscribed and dated ‘'PARK, SEO-BO "ECRITURE 110507” 2011 SEOUL [in Hanja and English]’ on the reverse
mixed media and Korean paper on canvas
169 x 230.5 cm. (66 1/2 x 90 3/4 in.)
Executed in 2011.

Full Cataloguing

HK$1,800,000 - 2,800,000 

Sold for HK$3,429,000

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Modern & Contemporary Art Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 1 June 2024