Young Mi Kim, Sung Won Kang, Young Sook Hong, Lee So
December 18, 2018 – January 30, 2019
Young Mi Kim captures the physical and emotional movement of the human body, a practice solidified by her continuous focus on croquis and Korean ink painting. The results of her uniquely developed practice is a moderately fragmentized and distorted images of human figures with often simplified backgrounds and vivid colors. Her subjects’ facial expressions and contorted movements cannot be easily interpreted whether they are in pain or rapture. It is hard not to draw attention to her hardships with clashing moral values brought after the challenging times of post-Korean war. With her early experience in distorted moral and family values, Kim continues to question the human identity and empathy with her studio practice.
Sung Wong Kang’s decades of focus on the Asian painting is obvious in not only in his techniques and use of materials but also in his subjects. He was one of the early pioneers who studied abroad in China at Beijing Central Academy of Fine Arts after majoring in Asian painting in Korea. Although Korea’s liberalization of international travels in the early 1990s led to a major influx of new media and Western contemporary art, Kang continued his practice in traditional Asian painting additionally by taking an apprenticeship under Jong Sang Lee, a nationally recognized traditional Korean painter. In the face of artistic upheaval, Kang finds original approaches to the tradition as he turns to Goguryeo tomb murals and folk paintings for answers.
Young Sook Hong’s natural aptitude in liberal expression in art changed suddenly from her early 20s due to the unstable Korean political situation. It led her to study abroad in the United States and the intense experience of confusion in her identity continued for 20 years since. Hong says this disabled her from capturing the reality of social experience. Instead, she has devoted her studio practice to abstraction art for many years inspired by sensual aesthetics and logical reasoning.
Lee So introduces Belle Époque, a series of paintings created with a particular method called engraving painting. She creates concentric circles and places natural subjects such as trees. Lee So, to some extent, is skeptical of the fast-paced, ubiquitous technology the contemporary society lives with and turn to nature as an ideal mental state. By utilizing modern chemical material to depict a natural subject, Lee So juxtaposes the irony of the contemporary human condition.
About the artists:
Sung Won Kang lives and works in Seoul. He received his MA from Beijing Central Academy of Fine Arts, China and BA in Asian Painting from Seoul National University, Korea. Kang has mastered the techniques used in traditional Asian paintings in both Korea and China and applied it to a series of paintings with brilliant folk-style interpretations of symbolic figures and animals.
Young Sook Hong was born in 1964 in Seoul, where she currently lives and works. She received MFA degrees from Brooklyn College and University of California. She subsequently studied Computer Graphics and Interactive Media at the Pratt Institute, where she received another MFA degree. Unfolding her personal and emotional narratives through art, her work embodies a strong mystical sensibility and refer to icons in art history for inspiration.
About Gallery JSA: