Galerie Maria Lund


Since the mid-seventies, as a reaction to press news distorted by the authoritarian regime at the time, South-Korean artist Choi Byung-So started crossing out contents of the press which conveyed untruths. He covered pages and their texts entirely or partially with a layer of ball pen followed by thousands of pencil strokes to the point of rupturing the paper’s fibers and tearing it partially in random places. Thus the paper and its content, as a kind of readymade, were transformed through this apparently simple yet immense work. Since then, Choi Byung-So traces and erases in a relentless repetitive process where each stroke becomes a visible trace of the being, of an existence where the modest and repetitive gesture of the individual opens upon an infinite, an eternity. This process can be explained by a double motivation: on the one hand the development of an artistic oeuvre in a totalitarian societal context where the simple fact of creating was an act of resistance; and on the other hand, the Buddhist philosophy in which the artist is rooted. Choi Byung-So evolves between materiality and immateriality: he metamorphoses, and transfigures everything while remaining attached to a substance that situates itself between two and three dimensionality. Born in a specifically Korean philosophical and historical context, shared by a group of artists known today under the name “Dansaekwha”, it presents similarities, not least formal, with the Occidental movements of Minimalism and Support-Surface.