Born in 1931, Park Seo-Bo is a major figure in Korean contemporary art and the founder of the Dansaekhwa movement, a synthesis between traditional Korean spirit and Western abstraction which emerged in the early 1970s in postwar Korea and has gained international recognition since.

Although the movement has never been defined with a manifesto, the artists affiliated with Dansaekhwa, including Yun Hyongkeun and Chung Sang-Hwa, are commonly known for their use of a neutral palette (namely white, beige, and black), their material emphasis on pictorial components, and their gestural and systematic process.

pPark Seo-Bo experimented with form and expression in the early 1960s, sharing with art informel the deep wounds left by the post-war experience, however, the artist soon started to feel the necessity to find a more suitable art form to reflect the new era which arrived after the war, and devoted his time to learn about cultural traditions of Korea and Eastern philosophy.

In 1967, the Ecriture series was born, paintings consisting of a construction of delicate and fine lines drawn in a repetitive manner. The main idea is not to communicate a message, rather, the essence is the act of emptying the self. In Park Seo-Bo’s paintings, process and discipline prevail—according to Park, the repetitive gesture allows him to become one with nature and to leave physical vestiges of this union on the canvas surface. Still current, the series has nevertheless undergone many successive transformations, incorporating the traditional medium of Hanji (Korean traditional paper), long ridged lines (“mountains”), and the forms and colors from nature.


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