January seems to be a busy month for London Art lovers! Over at MOKSPACE Gallery, near the British Museum, artist Soon Yul Kang will be having her solo exhibition ‘Spiritual Journey’. Soon Yul Kang has a long history in art, and not only creates art but has taught the craft at several universities in South Korea and is Chairperson of the Korean Artist Association UK. She has participated in many group exhibitions and as well as solo ones, demonstrating that she is an artist in demand! Her work in this upcoming exhibition focuses on hand woven tapestries.
On viewing Soon Yul Kang’s woven tapestries, the observer is immediately calmed by the still, simplicity of her work. Each of us has a memory of some quiet, meditative space once experienced, but crowded out by our busy lives. Her work places us immediately in that personal space, where seeing and thought come together. There is a universal, Zen-like, character to her tapestries, evoking the pure essence of landscapes, bringing us back to our centre.
The woven form adds a subtle counterpoint, focusing our attention but not distracting. Suggesting the hues and texture of soft tree bark, it reminds us of the innocent curiosity of our childhood, touching, exploring, experiencing. Together with the imagery, we are each led to our own inner place of calm and truth, and in doing so through the same medium, affirm the commonality of our experience.
Beyond this is the artist’s skill. The play of colour and textures, the careful choreography of thread, each lost in the whole but nevertheless essential. The raw physical nature of the work reinforces the meditative theme, as if the artist’s own creative contemplation has been knotted within the tapestry. In her collage work, she expresses these themes through a different medium, which in its coarseness allows her to realise new forms.
A deeply personal note is added through inscribing the word ‘father’ on each piece of cloth as if in homage to a lost loved one, while yin and yang is expressed through the juxtaposition of contrasting two colour elements. This adds a perceptible weight to the work, reminding and connecting us with the artists own still place.
The detail and work that go into these tapestries must be immense! As an experienced tapestry maker, Kang has earned many awards, such as the ‘96 Simon Jersey Tapestry Award, UK. Those who visited the beautiful O Bang Saek exhibition last year at the KCC may remember Soon Yul Kang who crafted the very intricate and symbolic 아버지 (Father). It’s very interesting to see how she uses other platforms and materials to create works of art. Her latest exhibition is sure to be unique and captivating, so make sure you don’t miss out and pay a visit!
Details of the exhibition are below:
Opening Reception: Wednesday 23 January 2013. 6 – 8 pm
Exhibition: 23 January – 18 February 2013
Venue: MOKSPACE / 33 Museum Street / London / WC1A 1LH
Opening Hours: 11am – 6pm, Everyday