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Exhibition news: Kang Ik-joong — Moon Jar, at Robilant+Voena

Coinciding with his installation on the Thames, an exhibition in Dover Street:

Ik-Joong Kang – The Moon Jar

6 – 23 September 2016
Robilant+Voena | 38 Dover Street | London W1S 4NL

The sky is blue before the full moon night and it wears the bright new dress on the morning of New Year’s Day. Right before the storm the sky is mild green.
And it seems layered before winter blizzard comes. – Li Bai (701 – 762)

Ik-Joong Kang: 6 Moon Jars, 2014
Ik-Joong Kang: 6 Moon Jars, 2014, Mixed Media on Wood, 56 x 56 cm / 22.1 x 22.1 in each (Courtesy the gallery and artist)

Robilant+Voena are pleased to present ‘The Moon Jar,’ an exhibition of paintings and an installation from the eponymous series by Ik-Joong Kang on view at their London gallery from 6 – 23 September 2016.

Ik-Joong Kang, one of the most renowned and acclaimed Korean contemporary artists today, is predominantly recognised for his monumental installations, which are composed of collections of children’s drawings, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands. These installations address issues related to Korea’s tumultuous history and articulate Kang’s desire for a reunification of the country. ‘The Moon Jar’ series is representative of one of Kang’s central and enduring influences; the original moon jar, an iconic type of Korean porcelain-ware, which was made during the late period of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1911) and is so named for its milky, white glowing surface and it’s ‘full moon’ shape. In the 17th and 18th centuries moon jars were used as functional objects for displaying flowers or storing food stuffs. The jar can also be seen as being emblematic of Confucianist ideals of purity and austerity which were the principles of Korea’s educated aristocratic classes. The jars were made by using an extremely soft clay; this meant that the two halves of the pot had to be made separately; a bottom half and top half are formed and shaped, then these two hemispheres are connected by hand before being glazed and fired in a kiln.

The exhibition will bring together a series of Moon Jar paintings which are all characterised by an alluring palette and dreamy quality. Alongside the installation Things I Know (2010), which consists of 500 Moon Jars arranged on the floor in concentric circles, there will also be a display of Moon Jar paintings on wood, varying in size, palette and form. In these works Kang further captures the spiritual essence of the Moon Jar, enhanced by the artist’s accomplished use of trompe-l’oeil, giving the illusion of three-dimensional space. Although actually flat, the curvaceous jars seem to both extend and recess into Kang’s paintings which, alongside the variety of colour, give the works a contemporary feel.

The exhibition will coincide with the large-scale installation ‘Floating Dreams’ which will be situated in the centre of the River Thames by the Millennium Bridge in London and on view from 1 – 30 September as part of the Totally Thames festival. Ik-Joong Kang will also be giving a talk at the British Museum on 16 September as part of Celebrating Chuseok: the Korean Harvest Moon Festival.

Ik-Joong Kang was born in Cheongju, Korea, in 1960 and received his BFA from Hong-Ik University in Seoul, Korea, in 1984. He moved to New York in 1984 to study at Pratt Institute where he received his MFA in 1988. He has exhibited widely, including a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, New York (1996); a two-person show with Nam June Paik at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Champion, Connecticut (1994); and group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1996); 47th Venice Biennale (1997), Ludwig Museum, Cologne (2000), National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul (2010) and the Korean Pavilion for the Shanghai Expo (2010).


(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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