Choi Myoung Young

b. 1941, Korean

Born in Haeju, Hwanghae Province, North Korea, in 1941, Choi Myoung Young led Korean art as a founding member of Origin (1962- ) and the Korea Avant-Garde Group (A.G., 1969-1975), art groups that played major roles in the history of modern and contemporary Korean art.

Choi Myoung Young first formulated his will toward the flat surface through Satori (悟), a piece exhibited at the founding Origin exhibition in 1963. Since then, his Satori (悟) series has evolved further, as it was exhibited at the Paris Biennale (1967) and the Sao Paulo Biennale (1969). In Choi's early works, he tried to annihilate the material in a plane by repeatedly grinding the colored surface with sandpaper and to spiritualize matter by repeatedly rubbing matter on a flat surface with a finger. These approaches became the basis for the series Conditional Planes (平面條件), which he has continued from the mid-1970s to the present day.

Choi Myoung Young, who had early searched for a new formative order for contemporary Korean art, is regarded as a Dansaekwha (Monochrome) artist most faithful to the “process.” As one of the first generation of Korean Dansaekhwa artists, along with Seo Bo Park (b. 1931), Hyong Keun Yun (1928-2007), and Chang Seb Jung (1927-2011), he is emerging as a blue chip of Korean monochromatic painting. His works were introduced to the public through exhibitions at Galerie Perrotin in Paris in 2016 and Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery in Japan in 2017, making us realize the popularity of Dansaekhwa in both East and West.

His works are in the collections of renowned art museums at home and abroad, such as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA), Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, and Mie Prefectural Art Museum.