Friday, August 21, 2009

Kang Kyoung Youn 강경연


Being a shy feminist seems like a contradiction, but Kang Kyoung Youn makes it work. She builds ceramic sculpture featuring an array of female images often with mysterious black cats and it is easy to see in the depiction of the women her musings about female identity. Looking back at the strident feminism of the 1960s she disapproves of its tone but acknowledges the restrictions of the male dominated Korean society of the present and seems to be searching for a route towards equality without strife. Married to Lee Jae Joon, a ceramic sculptor and fellow graduate of prestigious Hongik University, she acknowledges that two successful artists in a family can stir up some competition. While they have separate studios in the same living compound their works and respective art and antique collections are interspersed throughout their house.


One of the most striking aspects of her ceramics is the strong graphic appeal. Most artists with such strong graphic ability choose to work in two dimensional media rather than in the far more technically demanding field of ceramics. A fluid almost cartoon like quality of line and vivid colors contrast with the dreamy and slightly enigmatic facial expressions of the women she depicts. Many of the latest figures have hair of bright blue, Kang Kyoung Youn’s favorite color. Blue is also the dominant color is a series of sketch like porcelain wall pieces showing cats and women in ominous streetscapes. A quite different series of works are formed of white porcelain and feature only female legs sticking out of geometrical forms rather than fully depicted women.


Perhaps the best reading of Kang Kyoung Youn’s work is indicated by the title of one of her series, “Joyful Thinking”. The upturned faces and Mona Lisa like smiles seem to depict young women in the middle of reveries of life or future. Confidently striding upstairs or gazing wistfully at a snack plate marked NO, or just sitting with cat in lap these young women seem to be contemplating the pleasure of their lives and relationships rather than the suffering and pain that life can sometimes bring.


EDUCATION

1998 M.F.A. in Ceramics, Graduate School of Craft, Hongik University, Seoul, SK 

1994 B.F.A. in Ceramics, College of Fine Art, Hongik University, Seoul, SK


SOLO EXHIBITION

2002 4th Solo Exhibition, Kyung-in Museum, Seoul, SK

2000 3rd Solo Exhibition, Tosei Art Gallery, Shiga-Pret, SK

2000 2nd Solo Exhibition, Gallery Beni, Kyoto, Japan

1998 1st Solo Exhibition, Kepco Plaze Gallery, Seoul, SK


Present Lecturer at Yeojoo Institute of Technology


CONTACT INFORMATION

Address: #431 Daeseong-ri, Kangsang-myun, Yangpyung-gun, Gyeonggi-do, 476-912 South Korea

Tel: Home&Studio. +82(country code).(0)31.771.7077 C.P. +82.(0)16.262.7147

E-Mail: cerakky@hanmail.net

Website: www.claypark.net/cerakky

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