London-based artist Kang Eemyun has a solo show at Tina Kim Gallery in New York from 20 September:
EEMYUN KANG: Fungalland and the Stranded Mother Whale
September 20 – October 19, 2013
Opening: Thursday, September 19, 6-8PM
Tina Kim Gallery is pleased to present Fungalland and the Stranded Mother Whale, the second solo exhibition of Eemyun Kang in New York. The exhibition is comprised of twelve large paintings forming an imaginary calendar, a poem displayed on a hanging scroll, and a collection of drawings that together comprise a comprehensive narrative of a mythical world named Fungalland.
Fungalland, a fictitious world inhabited by fungi, is a reoccurring reference in Kang’s work where things mold and rot as much as they grow and live. Kang has invented her own myth centered around a stranded mother whale, a story inspired by a Inuit creation myth known as ‘Big Raven’.
“One day, Big Raven came upon a stranded whale and asked the Great Spirit to help him get the creature back out to sea. The Great Spirit told him of a place in the forest where moonlight fell a special way. There he would find mushrooms that, if eaten, would give him the strength to drag the whale into the water unassisted. Big Raven did as he was told, rescued the whale, and thereby safe guarded the order of the world.”
(Whale Mythology around the World)
Kang links the motif of the stranded whale to her own roots in the southeast region of Korea, a remote area of forests encircled by mountain ranges where whales once swam. She grew up looking at rock engravings of whales that would disappear when the tide rose. These mysterious remnants in the landscape inspired her to imagine creation stories about her birthplace.
Based on her fascination with nature, Kang began to shape organic forms into lush abstractions using her mastery of paint to create complex worlds and mystic landscapes marked by energetic and fluid brush strokes. Complimenting her imagination is Kang’s brilliant palette, which spans the full concert of nature and is marked by a remarkable freedom of hues that explode across the canvas.
The exhibition also includes new drawings and collage works that present more clearly the figurative motifs that underlies so much of the artist’s imagination with its voluptuous mushroom shapes intertwining to form labyrinthine spaces. Kang’s work is dreamlike and hallucinatory, filled with surreal and phallic forms slowly rising like clouds from the atmosphere of a new world. A book of Kang’s work that focused on this new series and was published in conjunction with her show last year at the Trondheim Kunst Museum, Norway is available as part of the exhibition.
Eemyun Kang (b. 1981 in Busan, Korea) lives and works in London. She obtained a BA degree from Slade School of Fine Art (2006), completed her Postgraduate Studies in Fine Art at The Royal Academy of Art in London (2009) and received a Professional Doctorate in Fine Art (DFA) at the University of East London (2012). Kang’s selected solo exhibitions include Fungalland and the Stranded Mother Whale at the Trondheim Kunst Museum in Norway (2012) and Dozing River at Tina Kim Gallery in New York (2010). She has participated in various group shows internationally at Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Artsonje Center, Seoul, Korean Cultural Centre, London, Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia, Union Gallery, London, and Royal Academy of Arts, London.
Eemyun Kang is represented by Kukje Gallery, Seoul and Tina Kim Gallery, New York.