Ha Chong-Hyun

Ha Chong-Hyun

Kukje Art and Culture Foundation

Ha Chong-Hyun, Conjunction 21-73, 2021. Oil on hemp cloth. 70.87 x 70.87 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Kukje Gallery. Photo: Chunho An.

March 28, 2022
Ha Chong-Hyun
Collateral Event of the 59th Venice Biennale
April 23–August 24, 2022
Palazzetto Tito
Dorsoduro, 2826
30123 Venice
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Kukje Art and Culture Foundation is pleased to present a solo exhibition of work by Ha Chong-Hyun, on view at Palazzetto Tito (Istituzione Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa) as a Collateral Event of the Venice Biennale 2022 from April 23–August 24, 2022. Predominantly known for his Dansaekhwa paintings, Ha Chong-Hyun (b. 1935) has devoted his lifelong career to exploring and understanding materials and their properties. The retrospective will present the breadth of his materials, methods, and creative experimentation. Curated by Sunjung Kim, Artistic Director of Art Sonje Center, the exhibition comprises five sections: the 1967–1968 Naissance series that highlights traditional elements and White Paper on Urban Planning series that addresses urbanization; the early 1960s Informel style, works produced during Ha’s involvement with the Korean Avant-Garde Association (AG) since 1969, and his early Conjunction series; the 1990s to 2010s that reveal the progression of his Conjunction series; the Post-Conjunction series from 2008 to 2012; and latest works dated after 2020, including new pieces produced for the show. The Collateral Event is supported by La Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice; Kukje Gallery, Seoul; and Tina Kim Gallery, New York.

Trained as a painter and quickly emerging as a leading artist during the period of postwar reconstruction in Korea, Ha began his career by developing his own artistic vocabulary beyond the bounds of painting, reflecting his broad interests in the contemporary social milieu. After graduating from Hongik University in 1959, he produced abstract works which were linked to the then prevalent Korean Informel movement, but his distinctive use of dark tones, which he created by burning the canvas surface with fire, distinguished his works from the mainstream.

After his participation in the Biennale de Paris in 1965, the artist began exploring Korean traditional decorative art methods such as the dancheong patterns, colors, and weaving. Between 1969–1973, as an active member of the Avant-Garde Association, he experimented with space by producing site-specific installations; during this period, Ha began to make three-dimensional works with non-traditional materials such as barbed wire, plaster, timber, newspaper, and the burlap that was used to transport food aid from the U.S. following the Korean War. In 1974 he began his acclaimed Conjunction series employing bae-ap-bub, the artist’s innovative method of pushing oil paint through the back of the canvas to the front. Surveying his oeuvre, this exhibition captures not only the artist’s endless creative and experimental energy, but also his pioneering role in the development of “contemporary” Korean art.

Ha Chong-Hyun
Born in Sancheong, Korea in 1935, Ha Chong-Hyun has lived and worked in Seoul since graduating from Hongik University in 1959. Awarded an honorary doctorate degree, he served as the Dean of the Fine Arts College at his alma mater from 1990-1994. From 2001-2006, Ha was the Director of the Seoul Museum of Art. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Kukje Gallery, Seoul (2022, 2015); Almine Rech Gallery, London, (2020, 2017); Daejeon Museum of Art, Korea (2020); Kukje Gallery, Busan (2019); Cardi Gallery, Milan (2019); Blum & Poe, Tokyo (2019); Tina Kim Gallery, New York (2018, 2015); Almine Rech Gallery, Paris (2017); Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, (2016); Blum and Poe, New York (2014); and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea (2012); among others. His work can be found in the collections of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Pompidou, France; M+, Hong Kong; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Japan; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Japan; Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; Leeum Museum of Art, Korea; Seoul Museum of Art, Korea; and Gwangju Museum of Art, Korea; among others.

Kukje Art and Culture Foundation
Kukje Art and Culture Foundation was founded in 2020 and has been committed to the revitalization of the art and cultural industry through research activities and exhibitions. The foundation serves to cultivate and promote both emerging and established Korean artists. It runs educational and sponsorship projects and showcases major presentations of Korean Artists on international platforms. Formerly known as Kukje Academy, it has also supported art scholars and research studies such as the Dansaekhwa movement; it has sponsored an exhibition of Dansaekhwa in collaboration with the Boghossian Foundation in 2016, and most recently, has supported major museum acquisitions of Korean Art at Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA) and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Venue: La Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa
La Fondazione Bevilacqua has been promoting contemporary art in Venice since 1899. Operating with two main exhibition centers, the Galleria di Piazza San Marco and Palazzetto Tito, La Fondazione Bevilacqua has exhibited an impressive roster of international artists in Venice such as Richard Hamilton, Yoko Ono, Kimsooja, William Kentridge, Marlene Dumas, Alex Katz, Philip Lorca of Corcia, Lucy Orta, Peter Doig, Lucy McKenzie, and Enzo Fiore. La Fondazione Bevilacqua runs one of the oldest residency programs in Italy that offers fifteen ateliers each year to fifteen young artists who have distinguished themselves in the field of visual arts.

Kukje Gallery

Established in Seoul in 1982, Kukje Gallery is a leading Korean gallery dedicated to showcasing works by Korean and international artists and promoting modern and contemporary art. In the city’s historic Jongno neighborhood, the gallery has three key exhibition spaces. In 2018, the gallery opened a second location in F1963, a cultural complex in Busan. Kukje Gallery represents a range of international artists, from 20th-century bluechip names such as Donald Judd and Alexander Calder to globally renowned contemporary artists including Elmgreen & Dragset, Candida Höfer, Anish Kapoor, Paul McCarthy, Ugo Rondinone, and Jean-Michel Othoniel. The gallery also shows works by key members of Dansaekhwa including Ha Chong-Hyun, Chung Chang-Sup, Kwon Young-Woo, Lee Ufan, and Park Seo-Bo.

Tina Kim Gallery
Founded in New York in 2001 by Tina Kim, Tina Kim Gallery is celebrated for its unique programming that emphasizes international contemporary artists, historical overviews, and independently curated shows. With the gallery’s focus on Asian contemporary artists, Tina Kim has become a leading figure in introducing the Korean Dansaekwha to the American audience. Furthermore, she has created a platform for both emerging and established artists such as Ghada Amer, Tania Pérez Córdova, Pacita Abad, Minouk Lim and Mire Lee. The gallery works closely with internationally renowned curators for special exhibitions and produces scholarly art publications.

Press contact
Jillian Scott, T +1 212.355.9009 x 313 / jillian [​at​] hellothirdeye.com

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