Venice Diaries IV: Chun Kwang Young: Times Reimagined

The image shows an installation view of the exhibition Chung Kwang Young: Times Reimagined at Palazzo Contarini Polignac in Venice 2022.
Chun Kwang Young: Times Reimagined, installation view, Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Venice, 2022. 
Courtesy CKY Studio, Copyright © Alice Clancy.

Review
Chun Kwang Young: Times Reimagined
April 23 – November 27, 2022
Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Dorsoduro 874, Venice

Painting as sculpture as work in paper. These are interesting objects, #wellhaveourbits[parcels]to carry. 

Chun Kwang Young’s works present a different visual and art practical tradition. The artist creates little parcels out of Hanji, traditional Korean mulberry paper, out of which he constitutes his object-paintings. The form of the small packages recalls medicine bags which the artist encountered during his childhood. The paintings resemble bonbons or sweets, arrows, parcels, letters; fire, water, planetary surfaces; ruins, even trash. And then they are so very precious.

The forms of the relief works reflect socio-environmental subjects and abnormalities caused by human failure, such as nuclear and technological accidents, or climate change. Despite their by times violent shapes the paintings convey a sense of reflection and healing. The artist regards wrapping, in its lengthy and repetitive nature, as an act of creating meaning. In that sense, these paintings are heavily loaded.

The image shows an installation view of the exhibition Chung Kwang Young: Times Reimagined at Palazzo Contarini Polignac in Venice 2022.
Chun Kwang Young: Times Reimagined, installation view, Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Venice, 2022. 
Courtesy CKY Studio, Copyright © Alice Clancy.

The time carried within the works emanates a different temporality: the longer you look, the more it unfolds. Like an everlasting cell. The surfaces recall prehistoric rocks, extra-terrestrial objects, ashes, and dinosaurs. Wrapped in a contemporary fashion.

The interaction of the works with the architecture of the Palazzo Contarini Polignac is outstanding. One guiding principle of Chun Kwang Young’s practice is that of interconnectedness. In contrast, he marks a social disconnection as one of today’s most pressing issues. Chun Kwang Young’s works installed in this 18th-century palace seem an encounter of humans, nature, technology, past, present and future, reflection and activation.

If you want to get away from all the city trouble and activity: retreat to Hanji House, installed in a garden next to Palazzo Contarini Polignac.  The work is a collaboration between Chun Kwang Young and Italian architect Stefano Boeri. In a foldable house you dive into a paper universe created by a 3-d digital animation taking up fragments from Chun Kwang Young’s paintings. The animation is underlined with subtle, slow synthetic music. The experience is meditative and immersive, building up a distance to the outside, and to oneself. It is future-contemporary-technological peace between human and machine. Let’s hope it is the future of technology.

The image shows the Hanji House as part of the exhibition 'Chung Kwang Young: Times Reimagined' at Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Venice 2022.
Hanji House for Chun Kwang Young: Times Reimagined, installation view, Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Venice, 2022. Courtesy CKY Studio, Copyright © Alice Clancy.