Since 1970 to the present, CHUNG Sang-hwa creates monochrome canvas filled with grids composed of repetitious vertical and horizontal lines. His works are simply filled with same color, but his focus is more on the procedures instead of the results. Although his works seems to be simply covered with same colored acrylic paints, his works shows complex and structured features of series of horizontal and vertical lines creating little squares to fill up the canvas.
And therefore, his quiet, calm, apparently timeless and enigmatically objective, impersonal and objective paintings embody the eternal paradox of the ethical artist: the results of his work seem to be objective, neutral, unintentional and foreign, as something that exists far removed from human conflicts, emotions and drama, far removed from our lives. He reveals neither himself nor his personal history. He remains silent and hidden behind his work, which leads beholders on the path to self-discovery. He wants to leave the beholders to themselves, with his paintings serving as signposts or guides. His wise modesty and his quiet, undramatic generosity reveal his greatness as an artist and a human being.
CHUNG Sang-hwa was born in 1932, Youngduk, graduated from Seoul National University as a painting major in 1956, and held his first solo exhibition at the Seoul Central Report Institute in the year of 1963. During his stay in France from 1967 to 1968, Chung encountered various European artists and held a solo exhibition in Jean Camion gallery. After that, he moved to Japan in 1969, stayed in Kobe to hold solo exhibitions; he opened exhibitions at the Muramatsu gallery, Ueda gallery in Tokyo, Motomachi gallery in Kobe, Shinanobashi gallery and Kasahara gallery in Osaka. Chung remained active in Japan until the year of 1976, then moved back to France and dedicated himself to his artwork until he came back to Korea in 1993. Chung’s first retrospective exhibition was successfully held at Musée d’Art Modern de Saint-Etienne in 2011, and in 2012, two of his black and white painting became a part of the museum collection. Other than this, his works were made permanent collection at National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul Museum of Art in Korea, Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum and Guggenheim Museum.