Hyun Ae Kang s first retrospective titled “Dialogues with the Sacred” at the Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center in Anaheim, California. The exhibition spans the entire 5000 square feet of the museum space, showcasing works from her early career in South Korea as well as her most current projects, includes works of sculpture, painting, and ceramics by the Korean-American artist.
Hyun Ae Kang creates an open pathway between the divinity of nature and human expression in “Dialogues with the Sacred”. Inspired by the nature, Kang interprets the forest, sky, moon and sun with repetitive brushstrokes, vibrating colors, and large scale canvases. Each artwork in the exhibition is a spiritual manifestation of the artist, created for a meditative experience of the viewer.
HyunAe Kang was born in 1959 in South Chungcheong Province, Korea. Despite the rapid industrialization South Korea underwent in the 60s and 70s, the rural farming village that Kang spent her childhood in remained largely untouched by modernization, and she grew up with a deep appreciation of the natural beauty of the mountains and the seas that would become a through line for her art.
Kang moved to Seoul in 1981 where she received both her BFA and MFA in sculpture from the prestigious Ewha Womans University. In addition to sculpture, Kang also studied painting, drawing, print-making, and traditional Korean ceramics at Ewha Womans University. Kang’s career as an artist began in the early 1990s. Her first solo exhibition was in 1991 at the Gallery Hyundai in Seoul, the oldest and most revered contemporary art gallery in South Korea. Her sculptures were also included in a 1993 exhibition at the Art Museum of Soul in 1993 and the 1995 Korea Fine Art Grand Exhibition.
She also taught as an instructor at the Hanyang Women’s College during this time. The dominant theme of the works from this early period is the tension between geometric modernism and organic abstraction. Kang explorers the interplay between the theoretical and the natural through elements of sculpture. Pure geometric shapes, such as the sphere or cube, unfurl into amorphous forms whose irregularity evokes a sense of the primordial. Similarly, the uncanny smoothness of polished stone or bronze is disrupted by craggy patches resembling biomatter. Even Kang’s choice in mediums is an interrogation of the two seemingly oppositional concepts; by juxtaposing burnished bronze with grainy wood or translucent marble with impenetrable obsidian, Kang embraces material alterity to achieve visual harmony.
Kang immigrated to the United States in 1993, leaving behind her rapidly ascendant career in the Korean art world in order to expand her horizons. Despite having no prior connections to American galleries or museums, Kang was able to establish herself as a rising artist in Southern California. Her first American exhibition was at the Cerritos Public Library in 1998.
The move to the United States marked a major turning point in Kang’s art. Due to her unfamiliarity with American quarries and foundries, Kang shifted to creating paintings. And although these paintings are in many respects a continuation of her earlier sculptural phase, as evident in the continuous exploration of nature as a theme and use of texture, they also represent a new beginning for Kang.
Having become isolated from the Korean art world, Kang forged a new distinct style that was uniquely hers which can be seen in her use of color and texture. Having become isolated from the Korean art world, Kang forged a new distinct style that was uniquely hers. Unlike other artists of the Dansaekhwa movement whose works are characterized by monochromatic austerity and muted earth tones, Kang revels in her use of bright colors.
Citing new found influence from American artists such as Rothko, Motherwell, and Frankenthaler, Kang embraces a more kaleidoscopic palette, painting with delightfully bright pigment whose luster evokes a sense of the ethereal. Kang has been very active during the past decade, with her works being exhibited in galleries, art shows, and museums. She has had solo exhibitions in multiple cities in the United States, as well as Monaco, Mexico, Russia, and Italy. She has also been featured in many group shows in the United States, Italy, Russia, Korea, Hong Kong, and China.
Represented by BOCCARA ART Galleries.