Park Seo-Bo is one of the pioneers of the monochrome movement post Korean War (1950 – 1953). In the post war era, a new way of thinking has been prompted by such detrimental warfare. Similar to the post war era in the western world, the lack of material and the restless remorse prompted the notion of searching for the new expression of calmness and purity; thus rise the imminent appearance of minimalism.
Erciture, a French word meaning “writing”, has been a long reoccurring theme in Park’s works. In Eastern painting tradition, calligraphy and ink painting almost always go hand in hand as they have derived from the same origin. Park Seo-Bo has brought two fundamentally important practices together, the repetitive pencil lines not only carries the traditional meaning of Eastern calligraphy and its relationship with composition and space on a piece of mulberry paper; but also, the autonomy has in itself adopted the disciplined practice given of the meaning “the art created by the body” in the 1950s during the movement of Abstract Expressionism in the Western world.
In 1983, Park Seo-Bo has started to incorporate the use of hanji paper. Hanji is a traditional Korean paper made primarily from mulberry bark. Park will soak the hanji paper in water for weeks to achieve a moldable state of the paper then applied layers of hanji paper on the canvas with gesso in between layers. During this process, the artist will use various types of tools to mold and sculpt the paper into a desired visual effect. This process will be repeated indefinitely until the artist feels a specific canvas has been completed.
In the year 2000, Park has made a drastic shift with his works – he started to experiment with bright colors in this Ecriture series. The three original colors: red, yellow and blue have been intensively studied by the artist. Through the incorporation of the vibrant color pigmentation, the artist further presents the three-dimensional characteristics of the painting, emphasizing on the sculptural surface visually and its differentiation of various surface texture.