Born under Japanese occupation, Park Seo-Bo (b. 1931-2023) was one of the first artists to introduce abstraction into what was then a very conservative art world in Korea, balancing tradition with rising Western influence. Park’s steadfast commitment to pushing boundaries and embracing new vocabularies of expression has consistently resulted in new and influential bodies of work. 


First developed in 1967, Écriture was one of Park Seo-Bo’s most prolific – a series of monochromes in which Park covered his canvas with a single color and manipulated the still-wet surface with repetitive, carving gestures – actions that resemble the writing of a script. While in earlier works he used a pencil or stylus to create these repetitive marks, beginning in the 1980s he introduced Hanji paper into the series, layering and scraping the pulp on the wet surface to create a unique sequence of sculptural lines that seem to float on top of the canvas. The resulting relief paintings evoke architecture and the phenomenology of seeing. In the early 2000s Park expanded his neutral palette and began using vibrant colors in his works influenced by the grandeur of nature.