Park Seo-Bo Passes Away Dansaekhwa South Korea Art

Park Seo-Bo Passes Away Dansaekhwa South Korea Art

Park Seo-Bo, the pioneering South Korean artist known as one of the key members of the Dansaekhwa monochrome movement, has passed away at the age of 91. According to South China Morning Post, the seminal figure died on Saturday, October 14, due to complications with lung cancer.

Born in 1931, during Japan’s occupation of Korea, Park would go on to study Western and Eastern painting at Seoul’s Hongik University until his term was interrupted by the Korean War. In the years to follow, he would use art as a vessel to unpack his experiences in battle, as well as explore his interests across the burgeoning Art Informel movement in Europe — resulting in his Primordialis series of paintings that are defined by amorphous forms and aggressive brushstrokes.

By the 1970s, Park’s practice reflected the spiritual teachings he would learn in Buddhism, leading to the birth of the Dansaekhwa (“Monochronism”) movement, a meditative process which stressed small repetitive brushstrokes on largely monochromatic color planes. His tedious and simplistic approach was often masked by the meticulous choice of materials Park would use, such as Korean hanji paper, hand-made from mulberry tree bark. In 2015, Park would bring the Dansaekhwa movement to a global audience through a presentation at the 2015 Venice Biennale, along with signing with French gallery Perrotin in the same year.

“Like the Korean scholars and Buddhist monks who saw writing as a purifying process, Park Seo-Bo saw painting and the repetitive gesture from which his monochromes emerged as a catharsis,” wrote Perrotin in a statement, following Park’s death. “His work is collected by some forty prestigious European, Asian and American institutions.” A forthcoming museum will also be dedicated to the artist, which is set to open on Korea’s Jeju Island next year.

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