PARK Seo-bo


PARK Seo-bo  박서보

By the 1980s the series <Ecriture>had a critical moment to change from art making process, methods and media. Since he started to produce the series <Ericture> he had been constant in exploring material itself, and further more to the effect after the action on it. His art practice has been a confrontation to material which can be discovered by the action of artist and painting is a recording of the tension. He extensively explored the material, canvas or Korean hemp cloth until the 1970s, and then his search moved to Korean traditional paper, ‘Hanji’.
By doing so he could get a very light relief effect which was a combination of massive bulk of pushed layered paper and the pressure made by pencil and traces of the pencil lines
Accordingly, the confrontation with the action of artist and material shown in the early <Ecriture> turns into the unification of the both struggled sides, in particular, the actions are mingled with the materials in the early works of the 1980s.

In the middle of 1980s, there are some pieces of work which were embodied the harmonious mingling with the free handful actions and the material, Hanji. It is noticed the lumps of wet Hanji made by the pressure of fingers and the lines which are drawn using sharp instruments instead of the early regular mechanic lines. Throughout the whole series of work, the main artistic concern has been how his action can be recorded on painterly surface and how to establish the foundation for embodiment of his inside rather than to describe figures, or to create image. We may say that the post-Ecriture period had been developed into the stage of meditation for self-discipline to Concentrate to mind, and to the states of unification whereby artists action gently absorbed into material, not by struggling, whereas in the period of <Primordialis> and the early <Ecriture> series, he had paid attention to the reaction of when he apply physical forces on material, and how it can be recorded. Since the middle of the 1980s the traces of pencil drawing were gradually disappeared that was apparently same time with an application of water color instead of oil paint consequently, the effect was easily noticed for the revival of fascinating colors in his work. When he had a solo show in 1988 at Gallery Hundai he was interviewed by a journalist who worked for Josun ilbo, and his statement was reported that ‘…the year 1988 was the turning point to present water color paint on Korean traditional paper, Hanji whereas the preceeding work was used to be a repetitive pencil work on canvas, known to <Ecriture>… after free drawing on three layered Hanji, press, push around with fingers or sharp instruments, and finally paint with clay mineral powder. An interesting feature of the series of post-<Ecriture> is that it has a very mild, warm touch and more various look which can be found in clay vase and clay wall.’ and quoted the Statement of the artist, ‘My practice is a diary of the mind’. When the basic materials in the series of post-<Ecriture> were setup to be Hanji and water color paint, he could achieve the best condition of Nature in his painting by the way of absolute in-tegration of his actions into Hanji which has perfect absorbition, and the final outcome could be maintained, it may be said that he could reach to the sublimation through the natural integration of practice and matter in his painting.

The work, called ‘Zigzag’ had produced during the 1990s were making a group of small furrow and layed out across the canvas without any particular direction, or it divides big canvas into several sections and then the unit consisted with small furrows combine with each other that make whole picture. You may noticean appearance of color in these work in which some are resulted from water color paint soaked into Hanji, or by the force of pushing ground color would be exposed. When post-<Ecriture> series were exhibited in a Retrospective, 40 Years Painting of Park Seo-Bo in 1991 at National Museum of Contemporary Art Korea, he commented about his idea on art that "Myobob' is a practice let the mind empty and furthermore, to achieve the sublimation in art would hide rather than expressive an impulse. By the 2000 the extensive actions in painting, such as pencil drawings, a lump of paper by pushing around with fingers, 'ZigZag' type of work were disappeared and then new style of paintings in which across the canvas very well organized lines were offered. Even in the middle of the 1990, of course, there were quite same style of work, however, newly presented work were displaying vibrant colors with a lot of varieties and manipulated tidy lines. It may be said that the distinctive quality of his recent works which associates with tidy furrows after picking weeds out infields are a result of calculated manipulation, accurate management of composition. When you remind what Seo-Bo was spoken out about his view on art, ‘practice painting is a self-discipline’ many times, it may be necessary to arrive at the stage of his own logical consequences in painting, only if it is possible to understand all aspect of art by means of.


Ⓒ Seobo Art Foundation​

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