Critic's Note: Seung Un Chung’s sculpture is not precisely sculptural. The aspect of working within space could describe his work as sculptural, but to the artist, space is the essential medium and the basis to developing a new story in artwork. Detached from the traditional approach, which engages the act of viewing an object, his sculpture invokes the physical presence of the space occupied by an object. His sculpture is light, not very voluminous and the material is not accentuated. His early work maximizes tension by using physical dynamics. Later installations use the surface of a wall (Seocho Plastic Academy, 1999) and the geometrical structure that floats while dominating the space (‘HORIZON,’ Project Space Sarubia, 2000) to strengthen dynamics of the space and balance energy.
‘집(House)꿈(Dream)-숲(Forest)/Gip Kkoom Soop’ Project drove out the essential characteristics of sculpture as a physical object by using linguistic signifiers. By taking the shapes of Korean letters for ‘House, Forest and Dream’, he attempted to find a different way to visually express the energy of a house or its ulterior meaning. First, the artist embodied the project by cleverly overlapping or repeating the letters of “house” and “forest” in two-dimensional work, and by constructing a wall through connecting wooden sticks (Gallery Fish, 2003). He has also built a three dimensional corridor on the surface of the flat letters (exhibition at a house located in Sinsa-dong), and made a three-dimensional installation in concrete. Furthermore, while expanding the project into exterior installations (Soma, Seoul Olympic Museum of Art), he connected the words "house" and "forest" with a thin thread (Gallery Soso, Seoul museum of art, 2007) to show the process of the two letters being transformed in three dimensions (Gallery Noon, 2007). Thus, ‘집꿈숲/ House Dream Forest’ Project was diversified in various forms in accordance with the given spaces.
In ‘Skyline’ Project’ (ongoing from 2009), he focuses on the line dividing and crossing the space to invoke different interpretations. By expanding the imaginative power of a painting on a squared canvas, the surrounding environment and the emotions of the artist in contemplation became unified as “a drawing within space.” The skyline work draws from a real landscape (Gallery Space, 2009) and the catenary work, made by putting paint on cotton thread (ggooll, 2011), draws on the blank space. In essence they create a sculptural drawing in floatation. Like a wall painting created in the accordance with space, Seung Un Chung’s artwork finds meaning on the basis of space. Using space as countlessly split paper, his space is also a platform where painting and sculpture interfere.
Artist's Education: Seoul National University. B.F.A., Painting.Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Meisterschüler(Prof. J. Kounellis), Painting.
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