Kwon Young-Woo (1926–2013)
ⓒ Kwon Young-Woo Estate
Image provided by Kukje Gallery

Kwon Young-Woo is internationally renowned for his series of paintings that deal with the medium of paper itself as a crucial formal language. By renouncing the act of painting and instead opting to use his fingers and hands to cut, tear, glue, remove, puncture, and push the paper, Kwon dramatically broadened the scope for the traditional paper material and maximized its abstract formal aesthetic qualities by experimenting with the transformation from two- to three-dimensionality. In the early stages of his artistic career, Kwon explored figurative abstraction using Chinese ink before deciding in 1962 to use hanji (Korean paper) as his primary medium. Beginning in the mid-1990s, Kwon experimented with three-dimensional abstraction by affixing everyday objects such as plastic bottles and spoons onto the canvas, then in turn covering these objects with rice paper. In the 2000s he continued to explore the physicality, formality, and tactility of the paper medium by creating sculptural paintings with hanji on canvas.
Kwon Young-Woo has been featured in multiple solo exhibitions in renowned institutions and galleries including Kukje Gallery, Seoul (2017, 2015), Seoul Museum of Art (2007), the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon (1998), Ho-Am Art Museum, Yongin (1990), and Galérie Jacques Massol, Paris (1976). He has also been widely exhibited in group exhibitions including When Process becomes Form: Dansaekhwa and Korean Abstraction in collaboration with the Boghossian Foundation, Brussels (2016), Dansaekhwa, an official Collateral Event in the 56th Venice Biennale (2015), Dansaekhwa: Korean Monochrome Painting at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon (2012), the 12th Bienal de São Paulo (1973), and the 8th Tokyo Biennale (1965). His works are in many important permanent collections including the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, Seoul Museum of Art, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, the British Museum, London, the Ministry of Culture (France), and the Chase Manhattan Bank, New York.

BIOGRAPHY

Kwon Young-Woo

(1926 - 2013)

Born in 1926, Riwon, Korea


Education

1957     M.F.A. in Oriental Painting, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
1951     B.F.A. in Oriental Painting, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2021
Kwon Young-woo, Blum & Poe, Tokyo, Japan 

2017
Various Whites, Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea

2016
Blum & Poe, New York, US

2015
Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea

2014                
The 1st Memorial Exhibition: Kwon Young-woo, Gallery EM, Seoul, Korea

2007                
Kwon, Young Woo - Life in the Papers, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

2004
Suga Gallery, Busan, Korea
Heo Baek-ryeon Art Prize, Uijae Museum of Korean Art, Gwangju, Korea

2002
Gana Art Center, Seoul, Korea

2000
Gana Art Center, Seoul, Korea

1998
Artist of the Year, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea

1993
World Gallery, Busan, Korea

1992
Hyundai Gallery, Seoul, Korea

1990
Ten Years in Paris, Ho-Am Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
Hanil Gallery, Busan, Korea
University of Otawa, Otawa, Japan

1987
Artcore Gallery, Los Angeles, US
Bridgestone Gallery, Toronto, Canada

1986
Hyundai Gallery, Seoul, Korea

1984
Samil Gallery, Los Angeles, US

1982
Hyundai Gallery, Seoul, Korea

1980
Art Forum International Gallery, Paris, France
Korean Cultural Center, Paris, France

1977
Shinsegae Gallery, Seoul, Korea

1976
Jacques Massol Gallery, Paris, France

1974
Myeongdong Gallery, Seoul, Korea

1966
Shinsegae Gallery, Seoul, Korea


Selected Group Exhibitions

2021
The Middle Land: Unfolding Times to Spread Out Become a Land, ARKO Art Center, Seoul, Korea 
DNA: Dynamic & Alive Korean Art, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) Deoksugung, Seoul, Korea
Lunar Sonata: Hanji Works and Contemporary Art, Jeonbuk Museum of Art, Wanju-gun, Korea

2020
HYUNDAI 50, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea
Lee Ungno, Paintings made from Paper, Lee Ungno Museum, Daejeon, Korea

2019
The Dream of Modernity: Planting a Flowering Tree, Buk-Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
Landlord Colors: On Art, Economy, and Materiality, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, US
Drawing-Korean Modern and Contemporary Drawings, Seoul Olympic Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

2018
Korean Abstract Art: Kim Whanki and Dansaekhwa, Powerlong Museum, Shanghai, China
Five Korean Artists, Five Kinds of White, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Topologies, curated by Mika Yoshitake, The Warehouse, Dallas, US

2017
Arts of Korea, Brooklyn Museum, New York, US
Korean Dansaekhwa, Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art, St.Petersburg, Russia
Rhythm in Monochrome: Korean Abstract Painting, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Looking into Korean Art II: Dansaekhwa, Museum San, Wonju, Korea
Systematic Paper, Blum & Poe, Tokyo, Japan
The Weight of Lightness: Ink Art at M+, M+ Pavillion, Hong Kong
Who Can Be Strangers? The Art of Mono-ha and Dansaekhwa, Blum & Poe at Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery, San Francisco, US

2016
Dansaekhwa: When Process Becomes Form, Villa Empain, Brussels, Belgium
Dansaekhwa and Minimalism, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles and New York, US
 
2015
Dansaekhwa, Palazzo Contarini-Polignac, Venice, Italy
Korean Abstract Painting- 45th Anniversary of Gallery Hyundai, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

2014
The Artistic Spirits of Modern Artists on Paper, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea
From All Sides: Tansaekhwa on Abstraction, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, US

2012
Dansaekhwa in Korea, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon; Jeonbuk Museum of Art, Wanju-gun, Korea
The 33rd Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea

2011
23 Artists of the Year, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
Chang Chang Life, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan, Korea

2010
Korean & Japanese Contemporary Art, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea
The 32th Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea
2010 In the Midst of the Korean Contemporary Art, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea

2009
Korea-South America Contemporary Art, Gallery Bellarte, Seoul, Korea
The 31th Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea

2008
The 30th Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea

2007
Hangookhwa 1953-2007, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
Korea Art Center, Busan, Korea
Woljeon Museum of Art, Incheon, Korea
The 29th Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea

2006
The 28th Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea
Korean & Japanese Contemporary Art, Sejong Center, Seoul, Korea
The Guardians of the Tradition, Hankuk Art Museum, Yongin, Korea

2005
The 27th Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea
Korean & Japanese Contemporary Art, Sejong Center, Seoul, Korea
Hangookhwa VISION, Seoul Arts Center, Seoul, Korea
Transcending Time: Traditional and Contemporary, Museum of Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea
Seoul Art Exhibition, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
The 4th Shenzhen International Ink Painting Biennale, Shenzhen, China
Alchemy of Daily Life, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand

2004
The 26th Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea
Korean & Japanese Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan

2003
The 25th Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea

2002
Era of Contemplation and Sentiment, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
Understanding Abstract Painting, Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
The 24th Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea
Aesthetics in Monochrome Paintings, Hanwon Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Korean & Japanese Contemporary Art, Yokohama, Japan
International Paper Artists, Jeonju, Korea

2001
International Paper Artists, Jeonju, Korea
MANIF Seoul International Art Fair 2001, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea
Danwon Art Exhibition, Danwon Art Museum, Ansan, Korea
Journey of Contemporary Korean Art in 21C: 100 Artists (1911-1941), Sejong Center, Seoul, Korea
The 23rd Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea

2000
The 50th Anniversary of Seoul National University, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
Group Exhibition of Established Artists, Korean Artist Association, Seoul, Korea
The 22nd Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea

1999
50 Years of Korean Art, Seoul, Korea
The 21st Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea

1998
Busan International Art Festival, Busan, Korea
The 20th Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea

1997
Horizon of Korean Art, Gallery Wooduk, Seoul, Korea
The 19th Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea

1996
The 60th Anniversary of Hooso Group, Seoul, Korea
Spirits in Korean Abstract Art, Ho-Am Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
Evolution, Seonam Gallery, Seoul, Korea
The 18th Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Korea

1995
Contemporary Korean Art Exhibition, Korea Foundation, Beijing, China
MANIF Seoul International Art Fair 1995, Seoul, Korea
The 100 Portraits, Seoul Museum, Seoul, Korea
The 1995 Year of the Art: Contemporary Korean Art, Paris, France
The 17th Fine Art Exhibition, National Academy of Arts, Seoul, Busan, and Jeju, Korea
50 Years of Contemporary Korean Art, Hanrim Gallery, Daejeon, Korea

1994
20 Leading Artists of Today, Ho-Am Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
Ecole de Seoul, Gwanhoon Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Seoul International Contemporary Art Festival, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea

1993
11 Leading Artists of Today, Jean Art Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Ecole de Seoul, Gwanhoon Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Present and Past of Korean Art, Hanrim Gallery, Daejeon, Korea

1992
Contemporary Korean Art in Japan, Shimonoseki, Nakata, Kasama, and Mie, Japan
Identity of Contemporary Korean Art, Hanwon Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Generations of Korean Painting, Gallery Focus, Seoul, Korea
Lines of Tradition: Korean Spirit, Seonam Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Seoul Art Exhibition, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

1991
25 Contemporary Korean Artists, Hyundai Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Inaugural Exhibition of Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Gyeongju, Korea
Contemporary Korean Art in Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia
Seoul Grand Art Exhibition, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

1990
Footsteps of 47 Artists for Freedom of Journalism, Seoul Arts Center, Seoul, Korea
Inaugural Exhibition of Seoul Arts Center, Seoul Arts Center, Seoul, Korea
Seoul Art Exhibition, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

1989
Salon de Mai, Paris, France

1988
Salon de Mai, Paris, France
Art Vision ’88 France, Paris, France
Contemporary Artists, Chosun Daily, Seoul, Korea
Salon Grands et Jeunes D’Aujourd’hui, Paris, France
88 Seoul Olympics: International Contemporary Art Festival, Seoul, Korea

1987
Salon Grands et Jeunes D’Aujourd’hui, Paris, France

1986
Seoul-Paris by Friendly Association, Seoul Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Institut Français, Paris, France
Salon Grands et Jeunes D’Aujourd’hui, Paris, France
Salon de Mai, Paris, France

1985
Salon de Mai, Paris, France
Contemporary Korean Art of Today, Ville Français Museum, Nice, France
Salon Grands et Jeunes D’Aujourd’hui, Paris, France

1984
Whiteness and Eight Contemporary Korean Artists, Institut Français, Seoul, Korea
Salon Grands et Jeunes D’Aujourd’hui, Paris, France
Four Korean Artists, Bateau Laboire, Paris, France
23 Contemporary Artists, Joongang Daily, Seoul, Korea

1983
Salon de Mai, Paris, France
Korean Resident Artists in France, Korean Cultural Center, Paris, France
Salon Grands et Jeunes D’Aujourd’hui, Paris, France
Contemporary Korean Art: Scene After the 70’s, Tokyo Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Seven Korean Contemporary Artists, Jean Art Gallery, Seoul, Korea

1982
Contemporary Korean Art, Kyoto, Japan
Korean Artists Resident Internationally, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
Korean Resident Artists in France, Korean Cultural Center, Paris, France
Salon Grands et Jeunes D’Aujourd’hui, Paris, France

1981
Salon de Mai, Paris, France
Drawings in Korean Art, Donsanbang Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Drawings in Korean Art, Artcore Gallery, Los Angeles, US
Korean Resident Artists in France, Korean Cultural Center, Paris, France
Salon Grands et Jeunes D’Aujourd’hui, Paris, France

1980
Salon de Realite Nouvelle, Paris, France
Salon de Mai, Paris, France
Cite Internationale Des Arts, Paris, France
Korean Engraving Art, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
Five Korean Resident Artists in France, Hangook Gallery, New York, US
Asian Contemporary Art, Fukuoka Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

1979
Korean Arts: Method of Today, The Korean Culture and Arts Foundation of Fine Art Center, Seoul, Korea
Works on Paper, Jin Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Cite International Des Arts, Paris, France
Salon Sude 92, Paris, France

1978
Joongang Art Contest Prizewinners, Joongang Daily, Seoul, Korea
Works on Paper, Kyeongji Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Contemporary Korean Art, National Museum of Contemporary Art; Korean Artist Association, Seoul, Korea
The 2nd Paris International Contemporary Art, Paris, France

1977
Eastern Painting, Shinsegae Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Contemporary Korean Art Exhibition, Tokyo Central Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Contemporary Korean Art Exhibition, Nagoya Beaux-Arts, Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
Contemporary Korean Art Exhibition, National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan
Ten Contemporary Artists, Korean National Commission for UNESCO, Seoul, Korea
The 4th Seoul ’70 Exhibion, Seoul, Korea

1976
Contemporary Eastern Painting, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
The 4th INDEOENDANTS, Korean Art Association, Seoul, Korea
The 2nd Seoul Contemporary Art Festival, Seoul, Korea
The 1st Gwangju Contemporary Art Festival, Gwangju, Korea
The 4th Ecole de Seoul, Seoul, Korea
The 3rd Seoul ’70 Exhibion, Seoul, Korea

1975
Five Korean Artists, Five Kinds of White, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Cite Internationale Des Arts, Paris, France
The 3rd Ecole de Seoul, Seoul, Korea
The 2nd Seoul ’70 Exhibion, Seoul, Korea

1974
The 2nd Ecole de Seoul, Seoul, Korea

1973
Korean Contemporary Art: Form and Antiforms from 1957 to 1972, Myeongdong Gallery, Seoul, Korea
The 12th São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil
100 Contemporary Korean Artists, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
Thirteen Contemporary Korean Artists, Signum Gallery, Kyoto, Japan

1972
Contemporary Korean Art Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan; Honolulu, US

1971
The 2nd Triennale-India, New Delhi, India

1970~79
The 1st ~ 7th Grand Korean Art, Korea Daily News, Seoul, Korea

1970
Shinsegae Gallery, Seoul, Korea

1965
The 8th Tokyo Biennale, Tokyo, Japan

1963~69
Contemporary Art Exhibition, Chosun Ilbo, Seoul, Korea

1962
International Freedom Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan

1956~77
National Art Exhibition, Seoul, Korea


Selected Awards

2003                
Gwangju Culture & Arts Order (9th Huh Baek-ryeon Prize), Korea

2001                
Eungwan Order of Culture Merit, Korea

1998                
National Academy of Art Prize, Korea
 
1974                
The Invitational Prize at the 24th National Art exhibition, Korea

1960                
Special Prize at the 9th National Art exhibition, Korea

1958-59
Prize for the Education Minister at the 7-8th National Art exhibition, Korea


Selected Public and Private Collections

Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
Museum of Art, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
Hanlim Museum, Daejeon, Korea
British Museum, London, UK
France Ministry of Culture, Paris, France
Korea Embassy US, Seoul, Korea
National Library, Korea
Korea Embassy Denmark, Hellerup, Denmark  
Korea Embassy Canada, Ottawa, Canada
Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, US
Daejeon City Museum, Korea
Korean Railway Office, Daejeon, Korea
Westin Chosun Hotel, Seoul, Korea
Plaza Hotel, Seoul, Korea  



EXHIBITIONS

Korean Abstract Art: Kim Whanki and Dansaekhwa
Nov 8, 2018 - Mar 2, 2019

Various Whites
Mar 16, 2017 - Apr 30, 2017

When Process becomes Form: Dansaekhwa and Korean abstraction
Feb 20, 2016 - Apr 24, 2016

Kwon Young-Woo
Oct 30, 2015 - Dec 6, 2015

Dansaekhwa, Collateral Event of the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
May 8, 2015 - Aug 15, 2015

ARTWORKS

Untitled
1977
Korean paper on panel
160x130cm

Untitled
1984
Gouache, Chinese Ink on Korean paper
224x170cm

Untitled
1984
Gouache, Chinese Ink on Korean paper
259 x 162 cm

Untitled
1984
Gouache, Chinese Ink on Korean paper
259 x 162 cm

Untitled
1985
Gouache, Chinese Ink on Korean paper
224x170cm

Untitled
1987
Gouache, Chinese Ink on Korean paper
224x170cm

Untitled
2002
Korean paper on panel
162x130cm

Untitled
2007
Korean paper on panel
162x131cm

Untitled
c. 1980s
Korean paper
97 x 79 cm

Untitled
c. 1970s
Korean paper on panel
72 x 60 cm

Untitled
1980
Korean paper
84.5 x 66.5 cm

Untitled
c. 1980s
Korean paper
80 x 67.5 cm

Untitled (P75-7)
1975
Korean paper on panel
122 x 81 cm

Untitled
c. 1980s
Korean paper
100 x 80.5 cm


VIDEOS

Installation Video
Opening l Korean Abstract Art: Kim Whanki and Dansaekhwa, Powerlong Museum

Artist Interview
Kwon Young-Woo

Installation Video
Kwon Young-Woo: Various Whites

Teaser Trailer
Kwon Young-Woo : Various Whites

Artist Interview
Why Dansaekhwa - Collateral Event of the 56th Venice Biennale


PUBLICATIONS

Kwon Young-Woo: Various Whites

DANSAEKHWA

KWON YOUNG WOO


MEDIA COVERAGE

Exhibition: Various Whites

Exhibition: When Process becomes Form: Dansaekhwa and Korean abstraction

Exhibition: Kwon Young-Woo

Exhibition: Dansaekhwa, Collateral Event of the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia

2017 Art Basel Hong Kong Kabinett

general


NEWS