Soon Yul Kang
Soon Yul Kang
Soon Yul Kang is a multidisciplinary visual artist currently based in the United Kingdom. She studied at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea, and MA from Goldsmiths college in the United Kingdom. Her works have been exhibited internationally, including at the Korean cultural center in Washington, DC, USA, the Royal Academy of Arts and Han Collection in London, La Nuova Pesa in Rome, and the Hangaram Art Museum in Seoul. She was also invited to the 4th edition of the Biennial of the End of the World in Argentina. Private collections in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, USA, Japan, and South Korea.
“My works are concerned with meditation, healing and time using different mediums and cultural elements as sources. I am influenced by the Zen understanding of simplicity, stillness, repetition and rebirth and the Eastern philosophy of Yin-Yang. I use Hanji, a traditional handmade Korean paper made from mulberry trees, which has both ritualistic and practical qualities. I grew up using this material and associate it closely with childhood memories. In my work, the Hanji paper's spiritual and artistic significance is just as important as its practical purpose as a support material. I repeatedly handwrite thematic words such as 사랑(Love), 마음 (Mind/Heart), 엄마(Mother) and 사람(Human Being) onto the Hanji. The Korean alphabet is based on the philosophy of Yin-Yang, and reflects the harmony between sky (ㅇ), earth (ㅡ), and mankind (ㅣ). As I complete this ritualistic writing process, I cut the handwritten words into rectangular shapes, starting very small and gradually increasing in size, which I then stick together to create a circular form.
I reflect on the digital age in which we live, and compare it to a much slower, analogue era. I place importance on slowness through the process of making the ink used for the calligraphy, handwriting each word by brush onto the handmade Hanji paper, and then deconstructing and reconstructing them by hand to create my final works”.