Although Clement Greenberg’s theory of flatness was one theory among many on the pursuit of abstraction through style, some Korean art critics in the past exaggerated that “white painting” was “Korean modernist painting” and propagandized it, based on the flatness. This phenomenon was nothing but “white wrapping paper,” missing the fundamental question: Why do we have to follow abstract painting at all?

Facing the current status quo where distorted views and the power structure of art circles taint the values of contemporary art, I had to start my projects from serious contemplation on past trends in the history of Korean modern art.

Since I cannot empathize with the historical context of formalist modernism in Western art, I refuse to passively accept it. Based on my introspection on Korean modern art, led by submissive and deceptive Korean modernism, which is even more incomprehensible than Western modernism, I seek an alternative art to both art histories.

Nov. 2004

Sun Choi

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