PARK Seo-Bo was born in Yecheon County in North Gyeongsang, Korea in 1931. He is a seminal figure in Korean contemporary art and one of the founding members of Korea’s Dansaekhwa monochrome movement. As early as 1957, he helped establish the Hyun-Dae Artists Association, and witnessed the germination of the Korean avant-garde art movement. In 1961, after he experimented with art informel in France, he began shifting to a more reserved approach, and his creative process became almost meditation-like. Through repeated
movements and purely physical manipulation of oil paint and materials, he realizes his thoughts rooting in the philosophy of Taoism and Buddhism as well as the writings of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu.
Park is best known for his painting series, “Ecriture,” of which the title means “writing” in French. He pastes hanji (Korean paper) on canvas before continuously creating pencil lines on a still-wet monochromatic painted surface to delineate countless linear combinations. Using brushstrokes posited between writing and drawing, he has relinquished all expressive forms to solely focus on pursuing “the union of action, material and spirit.”
Park has continued developing the style of “Ecriture” for more than twenty years. Depending on different historical background and a changing state of mind, his early work is mainly black or reveals a cool color tone, as he draws inspiration from traditional Korean houses blackened by soot, as well as anxiety towards authoritarianism. After millennium, he has gradually introduced bright primary colors into his palette, which reflects his observations of urban environment and landscape variations. Despite his rich and versatile style, Park has been able to amalgamate his style with the core concept of renouncing the desire for self-expression and achieving the unity of heaven and man.
Major exhibitions participated by Park include Korea: Five Artists, Five Hinsek ‘White’ at Tokyo Gallery in 1975, as well as the Venice Biennale in 1988 and 2015. His works have been included in the collections of many prestigious art institutions, among which are the Guggenheim Museums in New York, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, and M+ in Hong Kong.