Jung Kwang Sik

"For me, stone is the canvas that is a gift from nature. I can express myself through grinding or painting the stone. " | Jung Kwang Sik

South Korean artist Jung Kwang Sik is internationally recognized for his masterful fusion of painting and sculpture. Utilizing beds of carved and scratched granite, which he then paints, his works suggest sweeping landscapes viewed from an aerial perspective. These poetic works have an uneven surface; they are sculpture in relief. His grinding work has a limitation in direction and usually achieves patterns of hexagons. The addition of paint to the crowns of these hexagons lends an architectural element to the piece, emblematic of cities, villages and roads. 

Jung’s scenery does not represent a specific geographical location or any one culture. The images arise from within his mind and become materialized in trails of crustal movements, swelling and contracting of the earth and the etched beauty of erosion. The visual field is epic and dynamic. There is at once a visual tension and an induced tranquility brought on by the undulations of seeming waves of density and dispersion and high-low pitch. Jung has expressed the desire to capture the ebb and flow, the eternal and the universal rhythm of the relationship between man and our world.

Artist statement

For me, stone is the canvas that is a gift from nature. I can express myself through grinding or painting the stone. 

I breathed the viewpoint into the stone to see our life’s top and bottom structure in a macroscopic, equal, and pure view. 

Everyone remembers when they are in a plane and they look down at the land. This is what I want to show through my works – a view – Sea, River, City, Island and Mountain; seen from a long-distance view to a more zoomed-in view.

artist bio

1996 | B.F.A Sculpture, Hong-ik University
1992 | Stage Design Major, Carara Academy, Italy

“24th Anniversary,” Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Nampo Art Museum, Goheung, Korea (July)
Ponetive Space, Paju, Heiry, Korea (September)

Healing Scenery II, Gallery Jak, Korea
VIEW, Insa Art Center, Seoul, Korea

City of Imagination, Sol Beach Gallery
Healing Scenery, Gallery Jak
VIEW Insa Art Center, Seoul, Korea

Ponetive Space, Paju, Heiry, Korea

Gallery On, Seoul, Korea

Sungbo Gallery

Insa Gallery

ART HK 11, with Kwai Fung Him Art Gallery, Hong Kong Intl Art Fair, Hong Kong (May)
Ode To Art, Singapore
Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery, Hong Kong (July)
Stone Garden, Lotte Gallery, Seoul, Korea

Commence: A Philosophical Détente, Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA, USA
Korea Tomorrow, SETEC, Seoul, Korea
Power Of Sculpture, Samtoh Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Art Actually, Kunst, Seoul
Hill State Gallery, Seoul, Korea
R. Mutt Gallery, Chuncheon MBC, Korea
KUNG, Shinhan Art Hall and Ssol Beach Gallery, Seoul, Korea

The Gait of a Bull, Jang Eunsun Gallery, Seoul, Korea
The Great Hands, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea
Hello Spring, N Gallery

Space of Expedition, Beijing / Isub Daecheon Exhibition
Icheon Sculpture Members Exhibition, Icheon / Party Exhibition, Gayang Gallery, Busan, Korea
Icheon International Sculpture Symposium Exhibition

Let's go to the Kim's Chungmu Art Center / Sungnam Sculpture Exhibition, Yuldong Park, South Korea
MBC Sculpture Exhibition / 5 Sculptures Exhibition, Sohun Gallery
Revival of Marks, Seoul station, Korea

EHS Exhibition, Sejong Center for Performing Arts, Seoul, Korea
Sungnam Sculpture Association, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea

Journey of Art / Melting zone, Davinci Gallery
Hongik Sculpture Association, Kwanhoon Gallery
Sungnam Sculpture Association, Sungnam / Pohang International Art Festival, Pohang, South Korea
The Encounter of Past, Present and Fulture, Dongi Gallery

Aley Sculpture Park, Lebanon
Bucheckmese sculpture park, Istanbul, Turkey
Chang-a building, Seoul
Expo sculpture park, Icheon
Gyonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan
National Museum of Contemporary Art (Artbank), Kwa-chon
Ssol Beach Resort, Yangyang City, Korea
Swiss Private Bank
Youngrang Lake, Sokcho, Gangwon Province


by Taeman Choi, 2010

There exists a peacefully flowing river across a frame, a wide-spread field, and a mountain winding in and out powerfully in Jung Kwang sik’s work. When you come close to the work you can notice an artificial city with dense buildings. That reminds you of landscape paintings looked down from the sky with a bird’s-eye view. Hanging up steel birds in the exhibition hall is in the same context. His works are not drawings but sculpture of stone plate but it contains painting’s character. The texture made by using grinder reminds us of the ground. Using grinder he materialized trails of crustal movement, rising, and erosion magnificently on the stone plates. They look like earth or waving surface of water. 

His works contain the scenery and that’s why his works remind you of natural scenery when you look at them. If the stone plates were not colored, they could be thought of as scenery in the beginning of world. The stone plates have scratches with similar thickness so that they are associated with material-rich abstract paintings. Actually his work developed from abstract scratches to scenery. In an abstract works which are cubes with uneven fringes, texture overwhelms the cubes. His search for abstract works changed to the sculpture with scenery and it means he entered the world of picture-like sculpture. 

His works have uneven surfaces; they are sculpture in relief. With colors put on the scratches they are very close to the paintings. Grinding work has a limitation in directions and it usually makes regular hexahedrons. Jung’s works represent architecture putting colors on the tilted small hexahedrons and they appear as cities, villages, and roads. This enhances the nature of paintings in the works. Riverside houses close to each other look like a European city rather than a Korean one. Or look like a construction on the deserted highland. However, his scenery doesn’t represent a particular region. It’s an image which comes from his mind through his own way. It is seen in the distance, far from the subjects. You can notice his attitude to contemplate it. Why does he focus on the scenery sculpture? The clue to the question is in his works similar to a stage. Interestingly, he majored in stage arts in Italy. His experience with the stage arts definitely affects the perspective of looking at the objects and works around him. He returned to sculpture in returning home though. 

Zooming in his works, you meet their surfaces. The river across the screen makes our eyes release. Visual tension and relaxation of his works have aesthetic character as density-dispersion; high-low pitch and stress give us aesthetic effects. The river dividing the screen suggests the way of looking and also works as a windpipe in the dense touches of grinder. 

In conclusion, his works are all-over reliefs, as they are full of texture and material that attempts to experience the feelings of materials through touch and contains huge scenery using fine cracks.