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Heaven and Earth

May 18 ~ June 14, 2007
Opening Reception: 5/18 (Fri.) 6 ~ 8pm


 Shinduk Kang’s interlocking characters sculpted in granite take the shape of endearing entities both in their coloristic softness but also in their textural interest. But, this is the earth principle that my choice of title suggests. Then there are also Kang’s videos, her filmy veils and her silkscreen prints on metal mesh that relate more to the insubstantial or heavenly. Together these pieces speak to Heaven and Earth as a theme not only because of their qualities, physicality and transparency, but also because her site specific installation combines these media suggesting the idea of having it all, anotherwords, heaven on earth.
Indeed, Kang’s installations address not only the current issues of sculpture but also expand the medium’s parameters, for critically, it is difficult to know whether to place her silk-screens in the three dimensional category or in the painted idiom. They occur in space by being placed in the middle of the gallery floor, like sculpture to interrelate with the viewer but they are flat panels, painted, yet unlike paintings they are double sided. Kang’s videos appear ghostlike in their eerie fluorescent glow and are used as sculpture placed behind her fabric veils thereby obscuring the clarity in our field of vision. They are not flat screens that are present for the purpose of conveying a specific artwork but rather they are televisions present as sculptures themselves. For this reason too, Kang challenges conventional ideas of sculpture taking it further than ever before and with an ease and simplicity of methodologies that can only arise from a vast store of experience.

Heaven and Earth, 2007




 Kang has dealt with issues of public sculpture, monumental construction and design, working with varied materials, and has arrived to her mature period whence she can engage with the global climate by challenging its paradigms and amplifying its content. Kang sculpts disparate pieces of granite giving them forms that work together as interlocking synthetic works after which she gives them textural surface. So in this sense her works are analytic and synthetic simultaneously. Sometimes she creates abstract forms at other times abstracted ones but regardless of whether or not any descriptive feature is present they can be appreciated on many levels. For them to lock into each other properly Kang has to carve her pieces with perfect accuracy or they will not fit each other. This type of accuracy is exploited in mortice and tenon craft indigenous to the Asian countries but also to Egyptian architecture wherein the positive knob is fitted perfectly with the female or groove so that grout is unnecessary. Combining her granite pieces with video, projection and silk-screening endows the total work of art with a free flowing illusory atmospheric quality that renders even the granite works with a romantic liquid fragility that negates their weight.

Heaven and Earth, 2007


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