Chun Kwang-Young

A few years ago I visited Conny Dietzschold Gallery in Dank Street Waterloo where a Korean artist by the name of Chun Kwang-Young was on show with his work titled 'Aggregations'. I remember having such a profound response to this work that I wrote to the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea, to find out more information on this artist, who worked with mulberry paper in the most astonishing way. The Museum sent a copy of a book on the artist which became my most prized possession for quite some time! I came across it several weeks ago when I was packing up my studio in preparation to move house. I was interested in the significance of using mulberry paper in his assemblages, and in the book it revealed;

Before the Korean War and the advent of modern medicine, Chun often visited a close relative [the artist's father] who was an herbal doctor. Medicines hung from the ceiling, wrapped in mulberry paper inscribed with invocations for good health. The medicine bundles that once crowded the ceilings are the spiritual ancestors of the wrapped pieces that are now so meticulously placed in Chun's "Aggregations."


The significance of the use of Mulberry paper in Korea has also been written about by Andy Brumer -

'Throughout Korea's history, mulberry paper, and its uses, has occupied a central place in daily and cultural life. 

It has also served as a charged symbol of emotional and spiritual experience, and as a conduit, almost, to the religious realm. The traditional Korean house was practically covered with mulberry paper, and many utensils and other objects were fabricated from it. It has also been used extensively as surfaces for writing, painting and calligraphy.'