Jeong-Min SUH

b.1962

Suh Jeong Min received his BFA from Chosun University and his MFA from Kyonggi University. He is known for his use of Hanji, traditional Korean paper made from the inner bark of Mulberry trees, to create elegant and somewhat imposing works are neither painting nor sculpture, yet have properties of both. His artwork employs the timeless structures of geometry while simultaneously pursuing an idiosyncratic aesthetic that combines cultural references with unusual formal techniques. Suh uses Hanji originally used for calligraphy, tightly rolled into tubes or overlaid so that they resemble thin blocks of wood, cut into small pieces by hand and affixed to the support with a rice-based glue.

Suh’s works have a visual weightiness despite the lightness of the material. Arranged in concentric circles, in rows, or set on top of each other like stacks of lumber, these paper units have a dense bodily presence. Cut horizontally, vertically or diagonally, they produce light and shade on canvas as existing calligraphic letters form black lines on the surface. The artist said his works are the result of coincidence and inevitability. "Instead of drawing my own lines with Meok (ink), I find the lines from what others already wrote". What appears to be a severance from Asian painting in Suh’s work is instead a continuity of the practice in a new guise. As a craft unique to Korea, Hanji is considered integral to the culture. Suh’s use of the traditional material can be seen as an acknowledgment of this craft, while showing how an aspect of culture long superseded by technological changes can be transformed from the commonplace to the exceptional through an artist’s innovative methods.

Available artworks

Jeong-min Suh, Festival 14-10
Jeong-min Suh, Lines of Travel 20
Jeong-min Suh, Lines of Travel 22
Jeong-min Suh, Lines of Travel 61
Jeong-min Suh, Mandala, 2015
Jeong-min Suh, Sun, 2015