Exhibit of paper, plastic
Paper and plastic foam may seem like trash to many people, but to Korean artist Kwang Young Chun, they’re artistic tools.
Through these recyclables, Chun’s exhibit “Aggregations,” was born: large wall hangings that are composed of the tiny, individual bits of plastic foam and paper. Chun wrapped pieces of mulberry-bark paper with Chinese and Korean characters written on them around into triangular pieces, fitting them all together to create the illusion of depth and shape.
In his artist’s statement at the exhibition opening Thursday, Sept. 13, Chun explained the inspiration behind some of his pieces.
“The small, minimalistic pieces of mulberry paper are finally reborn through the act of sticking them together on the canvas – creating collision between information as well as deciding the moment of ‘vanishment’ and ‘death,’” Chun said. “The black spheres and the colorful pieces move in groups all over the surface, making scars, creating movements and depicting confrontations and conflicts.”
Students said they enjoyed the exhibit.
“Not only was Mr. Chun interesting to listen to, language barriers were broken with his art,” junior Dylan Lahman said.
Suewhei Shieh, director of the Asian Arts and Culture Center, said that she had been trying to bring Chun to Towson for more than three years.
“One of the sculpture faculty members at the time, Jim Paulsen, showed me a catalogue of his work, and I was so excited,” Shieh said. “I started to pursue him, and got in touch with his agents, but they all said they couldn’t help me.”
Finally, Shieh said she made contact with the artist three years ago.
“He was very touched and willing to bring his art to Towson,” she said. “But his ‘Aggregations’ collection consists of two huge pieces, and we do not have room to hold them here. He didn’t want his exhibit broken up—it had to be all together or nothing.”
Shieh said she gave up on having “Aggregations” shown at Towson, but last year, Chun compromised.
“He said we could show the smaller pieces of the collection,” she said.
But even the smaller pieces of “Aggregations” are large.
“It was a very challenging installation because of the sheer size,” Shieh said. “Some are 8 feet long and 5 feet tall—they almost cannot fit in the door.”