Born in 1927 in Cheongiu, South Korea

Died in Seoul, South Korea

CHUNG Chang-Sup

Chung Chang-Sup is a prominent figure of the Dansaekhwa monochrome movement, a synthesis of traditional Korean spirit and Western abstraction, which emerged in the early 1970s. His oeuvre reflects his Taoist belief that the artist must balance material and nature in the unified act of making in order to reach harmony.

Dansaekhwa, which remains a driving force in Korean contemporary art, has gained international recognition over the past few years. Although the Korean monochrome painting style has never been defined with a manifesto, the artists affiliated with it primarily share a restricted palette of neutral hues—namely white, beige, and black—hence the umbrella term dansaekhwa (single color). However, monochrome as such has not been the main focus nor the raison d’être of any of the Dansaekhwa leaders, whose unique ascetic vocabularies led to an overall aesthetics that is formally comparable to that of Western minimalism: process prevails within the relentless repetition of geometric or graphic patterns throughout their oeuvre.

Dansaekhwa and minimalism arose in reaction to art informel and abstract expressionism, respectively, and sought to clear art of self-expression or the emotional outpouring that single strokes and vibrant colors used to carry. In fact, all the Dansaekhwa pioneers were formerly seen as practicing art informel, around the principles of which they established the Hyun-Dae Artists Association in Seoul in 1957, to enable young Korean artists to express their anguish in the immediate aftermath of the civil war.

education

1951
- Graduated from College of Fine Arts, Seoul National University, Seoul

1946
- Entered College of Fine Arts, Seoul National University, Seoul
- Graduated from Cheongju School of Education, Cheongju, Korea

1941
- Entered Cheongju School of Education, Cheongju, Korea
- Graduated from Youngjeong Elementary School, Cheongju, Korea

solo shows

2016
- Chung Chang-Sup, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Antwerp
- Chung Chang-Sup, Kukje Gallery, Seoul
- Meditation, Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong

2015
- Meditation, Galerie Perrotin, New York
- Meditation, Galerie Perrotin, Paris

2010
- National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, Gwacheon, Korea

2007
- PYO Gallery, Seoul
- PYO Gallery, Beijing, China

2004
- Johyun Gallery, Busan, Korea

2003
- Gallery Euro, Seoul

2001
- PYO Gallery, Seoul

2000
- Johyun Gallery, Busan, Korea

1999
- Park Ryu Sook Gallery, Seoul
- Sigong Gallery, Daegu, Korea
- Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1996
- Gallery Hyundai, Seoul

1995
- Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, U.S.A.

1994
- Space World, Busan, Korea
- Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1993
- Ho- Am Art Gallery, Seoul

1985
- Ueda Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
- Cheongtap Gallery, Cheongju, Korea

1984
- Art Core Center, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
- Duson Gallery, Seoul

group shows

2017
- Unpacked: Contemporary Works from Private Collections of Northern California, Museums of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa, California, U.S.A.

2016
- When Process Becomes Form: Dansaekhwa and Korean Abstraction, Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, The Boghossian Foundation, Brussels, Belgium
- Summer Group, Park Ryu Sook Gallery, Seoul
- Dansaekhwa, Villa Empain, Brussels, Belgium
- Danseaekhwa: The Adventure of Korean Monochrome from the 1970s to Today, Domaine de Kerguehennec, Bignan, France
- The Myth of YOBAEK: The Opening Exhibition, Cheongju Museum of Art, Cheongju
- The 70th Anniversary of Seoul National University, Museum of Art Seoul National University, Seoul

2015
- Dansaekwha, Collateral Event of the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale, di Venezia, Palazzo Contarini- Polignac, Venezia, Italy
- Avant Garde Asia: Lines of Korean Masters, Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery, Hong Kong
- The past, the present, the possible, Sharjah Biennial 12, Sharjah, UAE

2014
- Empty Fullness: Materiality and spirituality in Cotemporary Korean Art, Beijing, China/Berlin, Germany/ Indonesia/ Sao Paulo, Brazil
- The Art of Dansaekhwa: Korean Monochrome Painting, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea

2012
- Dansaekhwa: Korean Monochrome Painting, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
- Korean Abstract Painting- 10 perspectives, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

2011
- Tell me Tell me: Australian and Korean Art 1976- 2011, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea / Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
- Qi is Full, The Opening Exhibition of Daegu- Art Museum, Daegu, Korea

2010
- In the Midst of the Korean Contemporary Art, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul

2009
- Korean Monochrome, Wellside Gallery, Shanghai, China

2008
- Korean Abstract Paintings: 1958- 2008, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul
- Drawing from Korea: 1870- 1970, Soma Museum of Art, Seoul Joseon Wood Furniture and Korean Contemporary Abstract Art, Shinsegye Department Store Gallery, Seoul

2007
- Abstract Art, Nam Seoul Annex Building of Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul
- New Acquisitions, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan, Korea

2006
- Masters of Korean Contemporary Art, Leehwaik Gallery, Seoul

2005
- The Seoul Art Exhibition 2005, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul

2004
- Monochrome Painting of Korea, Past and Present, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul
- Permeating, Leehyun Gallery, Daegu, Korea

2003
- White Spectrum- Joseon White Porcelain and Korean Contemporary Art, World Ceramic
Exposition, Joseon Royal Klin Museum, Gwangju, Korea

2002
- Understanding Abstract Arts, Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul Korean Contemporary Art from the mid- 1970s to mid- 1980s:
- Age of Philosophy and Aesthetics, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
- Aesthetic of 70s Plane Hidden by Monotone, Hanwon Museum of Art, Seoul
- Japan- Korea Contemporary Art Exhibition, Gana Insa Art Center, Seoul& Yokohama Takashimaya Department Store Gallery, Japan
- 100 Korean Modern Arts, National Museum of Art, Deoksugung, Seoul
- 4 Korean Contemporary Artists (Chang- Sup Chung, Se- Ok Suh, Tschang- Yeul Kim, Seo- Bo Park) Gallery Misulsegye, Tokyo, Japan

2001
- Shadow of Comprehension, Sagan Gallery, Seoul

2000
- An Aspect of Korean Contemporary Art, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
- NATURE, Posco Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
- Gwangju Biennale 2000, Gwangju Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gwangju, Korea
- Plane as Spirits, Busan Metropolitan Art Museum, Busan, Korea
- Seoul National University & Korean Art, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul
- New Millennium, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul

1999
- Korean Art 50 Years: 1950- 1999, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul
- Les Peintres du Silence, Musée des Arts Asiatiques, Nice, France

1999- 1983
- Ecole de Seoul, Kwanhoon Gallery, Seoul

1998
- Silent Artists Today Korea, Musée du Château des Duc de Württemberg, Monbéliard, France

1996
- Invitational Exhibition for the 50th Anniversary of Seoul
- National University, Seoul University and Korean Art, Seoul
- National University Museum, Seoul
- Black and White, Gallery Seomi, Seoul
- Korean Monochrome of 1970s, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul
- Spirit of Korean Abstract Painting, Ho- Am Art Gallery, Seoul

1995
- 52 International and National Artists, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul
- Korean Nature: Meditation- Expression, Park Ryu Sook Gallery, Seoul
- Art Contemporain Coréen, Couvent des Cordeliers, Paris, France
- Seoul Art Competition, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul
- The Korean Modern Painting for Fifty Years, Hanlim Museum, Daejeon, Korea
- Posco Center Opening Exhibition, Posco Art Museum, Seoul

1994
- Seoul International Art Festival, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
- Korean Contemporary Art: Light and Color in Korean Art, Ho- Am Art Gallery, Seoul

1993
- 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea, Miyagi Museum of Art, Sendai, Japan
- ’93 Seoul Art Competition, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul
- Korean Art, Yesterday and Today, Hanlim Gallery, Daejeon, Korea
- 4 Korean Contemporary Artists, Sigong Gallery, Daegu

1992
- Working with Nature: Contemporary Art from Korea, Tate Gallery, Liverpool, England
- Contemporary Art Festival ’21, National Museum of Contemporary art, Gwacheon, Korea
- Korean Contemporary Art, Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Gyeongju, Korea & Niigata City Art Museum, Niigata & Kasama Nichido Museum of Art Foundation, Ibaraki & Mie Prefectural Art Museum, Mie, Japan
- Line and Expression, Ho- Am Art Museum, Seoul

1991
- A Grouping for the Identity of Korean Contemporary Art I, III, Hanwon Gallery, Seoul
- The 2nd Tokyo Art EXPO, Tokyo, Japan
- 25 Korean Contemporary Artists, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul
- 5 Contemporary Artists, Hankuk Art Museum, Seoul
- ‘91 Seoul Art Competition, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul
- Inaugural Exhibition of Korean Contemporary Art, Sonje
- Museum of Contemporary Art, Gyeongju, Korea

1990
- Contemporary Art Festival ’90, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
- Korean Art- Today’s situation, Seoul Arts Center, Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul
- Korean Contemporary Art, Total Art Museum, Seoul
- ’90 Seoul Art Competition, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul

1989
- Contemporary Chinese Art, Sponsored by UNESCO, Palace Museum, Beijing, China
- ’89 Seoul Art Competition, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul
- Commissioned Work “Theme Hiroshima,” Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan

1988
- The 9th Today’s Artists, Exhibition, Kwanhoon Gallery, Seoul
- 4 Korean Painters, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
- Modern Korean Paintings in the ‘70s, Walker Hill Art Center, Seoul
- Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Inaugural Exhibition of Chosun Daily Newspaper Museum, Seoul
- ’88 Seoul Art competition, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul
- Olympiad of Art: International Contemporary Art Festival, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
- Modernism in Korean Contemporary Art Scene: 1970- 1979, Hyundai Department Store Gallery, Seoul
- 88’ Contemporary Korean Paintings, The National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan

1988- 1975
- Seoul Contemporary Art Festival, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul

1987
- ’87 Contemporary Art Exhibit, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
- The 8th Today’s Artists Exhibition, Kwanhoon Gallery, Seoul 4 Korean Contemporary Artists, Laboratory Gallery, Sapporo, Japan
- 39 Contemporary Artists, Commemorate for The Late Professor Su- geun Kim, Space Art Museum, Seoul
- ’87 Seoul Art Competition, by Seoul Metropolitan Government, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
- Chang- Sup Chung, Seo- Bo Park Exhibition, Gonggan Art Museum, Seoul

1986
- Seoul Art ’86, Organized by Soul Metropolitan Government, Seoul City Museum of Art, Seoul
- Salon des Artistes Françaises, Grand Palais, Paris, France
- Past & Present: Traditional and Contemporary Korean ‘Paper Work,’ Muromachi Ogura, Kyoto, Japan
- Korean Art Today, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, Gwacheon, Korea
- The 10th ’86 Seoul Contemporary Asian Art Shows, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon & Deoksugung, Korean Culture and Arts Foundation Art Center, Seoul
- ’86 Contemporary Art Invitational, Buson Gallery, Seoul

1985
- Minimal and Maximal, Hu Gallery, Jeon Gallery, Seoul 70 Years of Korean Western Modern Art from the past 40 Years, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoun
- ASPACAE (Asian Pacific Conference on Arts Education) ’85, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Paper Works by Contemporary Korean Artists, Sarah Spurgeon Gallery, Central Washington University, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
- The 12th Catholic Art Exhibition, Korean Culture and Arts Foundation Art center, Seoul
- Contemporary Art Festival ’85, National Museum of Contemporary of Art, Seoul
- The 1st Asian International Art Exhibition, National Museum of Contemporary of Art, Seoul

1984
- The 5th Today’s Artists Exhibition, Korean Culture and Arts Foundation Art Center, Seoul
- Contemporary Art of the 1960s: The Works of the Biennale de Paris, Duson Gallery, Seoul
- Contemporary Korean Art: The Late ‘70s- A situation, Korean Culture and Arts Foundation Art Center, Seoul
- Paper Work ’84, Kwanhoon Gallery, Seoul
- Contemporary Korean Art: Currents in the ‘70s, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
- Contemporary Art Festival ’84, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul
- 60s Korean Contemporary Art: Informal and Its Surroundings, Walkerhill Art Center, Seoul
- Exposition de la Peinture Blanche, French Cultural Center, Seoul
- Today’s Art: Selected from The Collection of Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan

1984- 1983
- Exchange Exhibition of Print and Drawing Between Seoul and San Francisco, U.S.I.S,
- Seoul & World Print council, San Francisco & Korean Cultural Service, Los Angeles, U.S.A.

1983
- Contemporary Korean Art, Viscontea Hall, Milano, Italy
- Contemporary Art Festival ’83, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul
- Korean Contemporary Arts Exhibition of the 70s Exhibition, Tokyo Museum of Art,
- Tokyo & Tochigi Municipal Museum of Art, Tochigi & Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, - Sapporo & Fukuoka City Museum, Fukuoka, Japan
- Korea: New Paper Works, Spring Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
- 7 Korean Artists, Yil Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

1983- 1982
- The Art of Contemporary Paper: Korea and Japan, Deoksugung Art Museum, Seoul
- Kyoto Municipal Museum, Kyoto & Saitama Museum of Modern Art, Urawa
- Kumamoto Folk Museum, Kumamoto, Japan

1982
- The 3rd Today’s Artists Exhibition, Korean Culture and Arts Foundation Art Center, Seoul
- The Phase of Contemporary Korean Art, Myungdong Gallery, Seoul
- Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, Tokyo, Japan

1981
- The 2nd Today’s Artists Exhibition, Korean Culture and Arts Foundation Art Center, Seoul
- Korean Art ’81, Deoksugung Art Museum, Seoul
- Works on Paper- Drawings Exhibition of Contemporary Korean Artists, Dongsanbang Gallery, Seoul
- Art Core Center, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
- Drawing ’81, Deoksugung Art Museum, Seoul

1981- 1972
- Korean National Art Exhibition, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul

1980
- The 1st International Art Exchange, Sejong Center Art Museum, Seoul
- The Grand Exhibition of Contemporary Korean Print
- The 3rd Seoul 1970, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul

1974
- Seoul ’70 Founding Member’s Exhibition, Shinsegye Department Store Gallery, Seoul
- The 4th India Triennale, New Delhi, India
- The 10th Contemporary Asian Art Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan

1973
- Korean Contemporary Art 1957- 1972 Abstraction- Situation, Myungdong Gallery, Seoul
- Exhibition of 100 Modern Korean Painters, Deoksugung Art Museum, Seoul
- Korean Contemporary Art ’73, Downtown Gallery, Hawaii, U.S.A.

1972
- Korean Contemporary Paintings Exhibition, Traveling India, Nepal and Afghanistan

1970
- The 19th Korean National Art Exhibition, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul
- The 1st Grand Prize Exhibition of Korean Art, Gyeongbokgung Art Museum, Seoul
- Space Gallery Museum Invitational, Space Gallery, Seoul
- Professors’ Art Exhibition by College of Fine Arts, Seoul National University, College of Fine Arts, Seoul National University, Seoul

1969
- The 18th Korean National Art Exhibition, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, Seoul
- The 1st Cannes International Paintings Festival, Cannes, France
- The 1st Pistoia International Paintings Biennale, Pistoia, Italy
- Invitational Exhibition of 10 Korean Contemporary Painters, Shinsegye Department Store Gallery, Seoul

1968
- Korean Contemporary Paintings, Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan

1967
- ISPAA(International Society of Plastic and Audio- Visual Art) Exhibition, Traveling Seoul, Osaka, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia

1966
- The 10th Contemporary Art Exhibit, Gyeongbokgung Art Museum, Seoul
- The 5th Cultural Freedom Invitational, Yechong Gallert, Seoul
- The 2nd Korean Contemporary Painting Exhibition by 10 Artists, Organized by Joong Ang Daily News Paper, Seoul
- Korean Contemporary Artists Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

1965
- The 9th Contemporary Art Exhibit, Gyeongbokgung Art Museum, Seoul
- The 8th Bienal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
- The 1st Korean National Arts Exhibition, Busan, Korea
- Contemporary Art Exhibition of Far East 6 Countries, Macy’s Department Store Gallery, New York, U.S.A.

1964
- The 2nd Actual Group Show, Gyeongbokgung Art Museum, Seoul

1963
- The 7th Contemporary Art Exhibit, Gyeongbokgung Art Museum, Seoul
- The 2nd Cultural Freedom Invitational, Korean Information Center Gallery, Seoul

1962
- The 6th Contemporary Art Exhibit, Gyeongbokgung Art Museum, Seoul
- The 1st Saigon International Biennale, Saigon, Vietnam
- Exhibition of International Freedom, Gyeongbokgung Art Museum, Seoul
- 33 Korean Contemporary Artists, Ministry of the Cultural Information, Seol
- Korean Contemporary Artists, Manila, The Philippines

1961
- The 10th Korean National Art Exhibition, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul
- The 2nd Paris Youth Biennale, Paris, France
- Exhibition of International Freedom, Tokyo National Stadium Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1960
- The 4th Contemporary Art Exhibition, Gyeongbokgung Art Museum, Seoul

1959
- The 3rd Contemporary Art Exhibition, Gyeongbokgung Art Museum, Seoul

1958
- The 2nd Contemporary Art Exhibition, Gyeongbokgung Art Museum, Seoul

1957
- The 1st Contemporary Art Exhibition, Organized by Chosun Daily Newspaper, Deoksugung Art Museum, Seoul
- Invited Exhibition of Cultural Freedom, Asia Foundation, Seoul
- Korean Contemporary Artists, World House Gallery, New York, U.S.A.

1956
- The 5th Korean National Art Exhibition, National Art Museum, Seoul

1955
- The 4th Korean National Art Exhibition, National Art Museum, Seoul

1954
- The 3rd Korean National Art Exhibition, National Art Museum, Seoul
- Holy Artist Association Exhibition, Midopa Gallery, Seoul

1953
- The 2nd Korean National Art Exhibition, National Art Museum, Seoul

1950
- Graduate Exhibition by College of Fine Arts, Seoul National University, Seoul

public collections

- National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea
- Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul
- Busan Museum of Modern Art, Busan, Korea
- Daejeon Museum of Art, Daejeon, Korea
- Samsung Museum of Art, Leeum, Seoul
- Walkerhill Art Center, Seoul
- Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Gyeongju, Korea
- Youngeun Museum, Gwangju, Korea
- HanLim Museum, Daejeon, Korea
- Seoul National University Museum, Seoul
- Korea University Museum, Seoul
- Ewha Womans University Museum, Seoul
- 63 Museum, Seoul
- Royal Nepal Museum, Nepal
- Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
- Mie Prefectural Art Museum, Mie, Japan
- Shimonoseki City Art Museum, Shimonoseki, Japan
- Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan

awards

1993
- The Order of Korean National Art Merit, Seoul

1987
- Grand Prize, The 13th Joong Ang Cultural Grand Prize, Seoul

1980
- Invited Artist Award, The 29th Korean National Art Exhibition, Seoul

1962
- Bronze Prize and Esso Prize, The 1st Saigon International Biennale, Saigon, Vietnam

1955
- Special Prize, The 4th Korean National Art Exhibition, Seoul

1953
- Special Prize, The 2nd Korean National Art Exhibition, Seoul

1950
- President Prize, Graduate Exhibition by College of Fine Arts, Seoul National University

Career

2010-1993
- Honorary Professor of Seoul National University

1997-1992
- Committee Member and Committee of Judges of Korean Art competition

1993
- Retired from the College of Fine Arts, Seoul National University, Seoul

1993- 1961
- Professor, College of Fine Arts, Seoul National University, Seoul

1988
- Committee Member and Committee of Judges of 88 Seoul Art competition

1984
- Committee Member and Invited Artist of the 10th Seoul Contemporary Art Festival

1981
- Committee of Judges of the 30th Korean National Art Exhibition

1980
- Invited Artist of the 29th Korean National Art Exhibition

1979
- Invited Artist of the 28th Korean National Art Exhibition Committee Member
- Invited Artist of the 5th Seoul Contemporary Art Festival

1978
- Committee of Judges and Invited Artist of the 27th Korean National Art Exhibition

1977
- Invited Artist of the 26th Korean National Art Exhibition Committee Member
- Invited Artist of the 3rd Seoul Contemporary Art Festival

1976
- Committee of Judges and Invited Artist of the 25th Korean National Art Exhibition
- Committee Member and Invited Artist of the 2nd Seoul Contemporary Art Festival
- Committee of Judges of the 3rd Grand Prize Exhibition of Korean art

1975
- Invited Artist of the 24th Korean National Art Exhibition

1974
- Committee of Judges and Invited Artist of the 23rd Korean National Art Exhibition

1973
- Committee of Judges and Invited Artist of the 22nd Korean National Art Exhibition

1972
- Invited Artist of the 21st Korean National Art Exhibition

1970
- Committee of Judges and Invited Artist of the 19th Korean National Art Exhibition
- Mural Painting in Hyeongchungsa

1969
- Recommended Artist of the 18th Korean National Art Exhibition

1968
- Advisor of São Paulo International Exhibition
- Jeoldusan Catholic Cathedral Mural Painting, Seoul

1967
- Director of Korean Fine Arts Association

1965
- Invited Artist and Committee of Judges of the 1st Korean Art Exhibition

1965- 1964
- Mural Painting, Library of college of Education, Seoul National University, Seoul

1962- 1957
- Invited Artist and Committee of Judges of Contemporary Art Exhibit

1961
- Recommended Artist of the 10th Korean National Art Exhibition

1961- 1956
- Teacher, Seoul Arts High School, Seoul

Chung Chang Sup

par Charlotte Waligòra

Figure incontournable de la scène contemporaine coréenne, Chang-Sup Chung sort diplômé de l’école des Beaux-Arts de Séoul en 1951. Ses premières peintures, à l’huile, explorent une part du modernisme occidental ; la question de la forme telle que les cubistes l’avaient envisagé et celle de la matérialité de la peinture que l’art informel d’après-guerre expérimente abondamment. Son œuvre toujours curieuse de l’Occident concourra cependant à forger des caractères identitaires coréens supplantant les empreintes laissées par la domination des cultures sino-japonaises après la libération en 1953.

Dans les années 1970, Chang-Sup Chung co-fonde avec ses contemporains Lee Ufan, Chung Sang-Hwa, Ha Chong-Huyn, Park Seo-Bo, Yun Hyong-Keun, le groupe Dansaekhwa également appelé baeksaekpa, littéralement « l’école du blanc ». On dit que l’esthétique de la porcelaine blanche de la période Joseon (1392-1910), illustrant à sa manière la pensée confucéenne coréenne, caractérisée par sa sobriété et la beauté de ses formes simples, aurait inspiré l’esthétique dite « méditative » au mouvement. Chang-Sup Chung titre parfois certains tableaux de jeunesse White Porcelain.

Les membres de Dansaekhwa pratiquent le monochrome, utilisent une gamme chromatique restreinte de blancs, de noirs et de beiges qui est la couleur même du Hanji utilisée à partir de 1975 par Chang-Sup Chung et qui devient, d’une certaine manière, sa signature. La série Tak – du nom du murier à papier – travaillée dans les années 1980 et inaugurant l’exposition, illustre ce caractère. Le handji ne lui sert pas seulement en tant que matériau intégré au support, il lui sert à former de délicates altérations à la surface de ses applications particulièrement denses qui recouvrent la toile en réalisant des empreintes de ses froissures. Il préserve ainsi la trace mobile du geste et du travail qui délivre, en surface, la charge vibratoire de l’acte créateur.

La série Méditation, inaugurée dans les années 1990, transforme nouvellement son travail de la surface à travers un ensemble de geste plus maitrisés qui lui permettent d’ « ouvrir » la peinture vers « l’espace pure » et monochrome du tableau, suivant le rythme même de l’acte méditatif. La matière et ses altérations recherchées forment le tableau chez Chang-Sup Chung. Elle sédimente le temps de création en faveur du principe de modération ancré dans la philosophie coréenne. Le tableau est amené à sa forme ultime au terme d’un long processus de travail qui s’opère comme une méditation, dont chaque degré d’élévation ou de transformation serait signalé.

À travers cette série, il révèle l’espace pictural en bordant ses compositions d’une zone de matière particulièrement dense, en relief. Il réserve paradoxalement un traitement plus lisse à des « figures » quadrangulaires, monochromes, creusant ainsi l’espace au centre du tableau. Cette bordure correspondrait au seuil des limites physiques inhérentes à la matérialité du monde traversée dans l’art de la méditation comme on traverse ce premier plan pour accéder à l’espace pur de la peinture.

La simplicité apparente de ces compositions, que l’on dit parfois inspirées du minimalisme, questionne ainsi la profondeur infinie du tableau qui équivaut au paysage intérieur. Pour Yoon Jin-sup ; « Ses créations se situent dans une perspective écologique, cosmologique et terrestre diamétralement opposée à celle, formaliste, des Occidentaux ».

La série Méditation fut travaillée par l’artiste jusqu’à son décès en 2011. Elle comporte de nombreuses variations. Les toiles s’organisent presque toujours suivant un rapport binaire entre le premier et l’arrière plan vécu comme abîme soustrayant aux modulations de matières, un travail de la couleur qui annonce à l’infini, au loin, ses sources lumineuses. La série Return, des années 1970, bordant à l’encre noire, l’infini blanc du tableau, constitue la genèse de sa pensée à travers laquelle Chang-Sup Chung invite le regardeur à la contemplation du vide, réceptacle, désormais, de nos propres méditations.

Une telle proposition rejoint celles antérieures formulées par Kasimir Malevitch en 1915, par Yves Klein au milieu des années 1950, par Sam Francis au début des années 1960, qui, tous trois et distinctement, avaient conféré à l’espace pictural monochrome des valeurs spirituelles mais aussi cosmogoniques.

L’œuvre d’art chez Chang-Sup Chung doit être le résultat d’une osmose avec la nature, la création, cette expérience méditative transformatrice dont la durée est parfois restituée par un réseau de lignes compartimentant la toile en carrés, agissant comme des séquences temporelles clairement définies.

Chang-Sup Chung écrit dans ses notes du 19 aout 1992 : « […] mon travail démarre seulement une fois que les méthodes préexistantes, les formes et les normes ont été totalement éliminées. De la même manière qu'un artisan se découvre à travers son travail, je découvre un monde (la réalisation d'une peinture) où toute peinture (intentionnelle) est absente, tout en appréciant la liberté spirituelle liée à l'abandon de toute connaissance, intentions, souvenirs de mon enfance et détails oubliés. Mon espoir et mon désir sont de découvrir un autre moi (à travers ces activités). »t absente, tout en appréciant la liberté spirituelle liée à l'abandon de toute connaissance, intentions, souvenirs de mon enfance et détails oubliés. Mon espoir et mon désir sont de découvrir un autre moi (à travers ces activités). »