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Chung Zu-young's 'meteorology' shows contemporary Korean landscape paintingsBy Park Yuna
Published : Feb. 18, 2023 - 16:01
Gallery Hyundai presents a solo exhibition of Korean painter Chung Zu-young, unveiling the artist’s new painting series inspired by mountains and meteorology. The artist had long been enamored by mountains, but now turns her eye higher to the sky.
“Last summer the weather changed dramatically, and it was extremely hot and rainy. I saw a big storm cloud, or maybe a pillar of clouds after it stop raining. It just seemed like a symbolic huge storm cloud with a unique form. I wanted to portray it on canvas,” Chung told press on Wednesday.
In "Meteorologica,” she divides the pillar of the clouds into two and observes each shape again, now appearing completely different. Chung expressed her observations on two canvases – one part, titled "M40," seems like a person's profile picture, while the other, "M41," is like the back of the body, lying with legs crossed.
Chung’s paintings seem somehow dreamy, partly because the artist numerously layered different colors over and over on a canvas using the brush. Although some paintings appear in hues of purple, the color is the result of a mixture of different color layers of yellow, light blue and pink, which permeates the canvas.
“The process of layering different hues to derive gray was exciting. I wanted to express the indescribably deep, dark color, reminding me of a place where something is likely to happen," she said. "A very tension-provoking gray.”
Approaching closer to the paintings – whether they remind gallerygoers of the moments of sunrise and sunset, storm clouds or foggy weather – Chung's numerous brushstrokes sharpen into clarity. Chung said “drawing a line” is an important part of her artistic practice.
“I paint in a way in which painting and writing coexist, similar to the way calligraphy is created with a brush. I use a tone that is extremely thin to the point where it is almost transparent. My methodology is in some sense connected to traditional Korean painting that has its roots in ink-based landscape painting,” she added.
Her new paintings include those inspired by the Alps, which she had the chance to see in 2006. Relying on her memory, she started to work on the series in 2018.
“Chung Zuyoung: Meteorologica” runs through March 26 at Gallery Hyundai in central Seoul, presenting 60 of the artist’s paintings throughout the building. The title of the exhibition was inspired by "Meteorology," a treatise written by Aristotle in 350 BC, according to the gallery.
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