Son Bong Chae was born in 1967 in Korea, and studied Fine Art at Chosun University in Gwangju, Korea. He later received his Master of Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute in New York. Son employs a layered painting process to create haunting landscapes characterized by a poetic sense of history. The artist paints ethereal oil works of silhouetted trees with expressive limbs, layering the images—often inside light boxes—so that each work contains five or six fields. Son became interested in layering while traveling to his father’s hometown in South Korea. He was struck by how the natural beauty of the landscape eclipsed the country’s violent past in the Korean War. His work echoes this duality with its overlapping images of trees; one layer of history is superimposed atop the next.
Son Bong Chae was honoured as the Gwangju Artist of 2010. He has been featured in numerous international solo exhibitions, and has exhibited in an extensive list of biennales since 2006. His work is part of institutional collections including the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Korea, the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, and the Korean Cultural Center in Shanghai.