Symbolizing the majesty of the royal family, this late 18th century blue and white dragon jar—used as storage vessels or vases for monumental floral displays at banquets in the royal court for feasts and rituals– is the focal point in Kang Collection Korean Art’s exhibition A Fantastic Dragon Jar and Recent Acquisitions. The decoration on this jar reveals the dynamic yet painstaking skill of the painters of the royal court. Arader Galleries, 1016 Madison Avenue.
Numerous works expected to be exhibited have already been shared by the organization. Go Hee-Dong (1886-1965), Autumn Landscape, 1956, ink and color on paper, Kang Collection Korean Art.
Our picks of highlights from commercial galleries participating in the event
The California-based Korean art specialists of Kang Collection have organised a series of contemporary paintings by Korean artists such as Suyoung Her, Minkyung Kim and Minjung Kim. The move marks a change of pace for the gallery, which typically deals in Korean antiquities. A gallery spokesman notes “an abundance of mountain ranges and other strong references to Korean heritage coming from young artists”, offering their display an unintentional but telling synergy.
<South Korean artist Ran Hwang’s mixed-media installation at the Asian Civilisations Museum weaves in 500 years of Korea’s Joseon dynasty in an accessible, contemporary take>
The Asian Civilisations Museum has commissioned Ran Hwang to end the exhibition on a sweet note. Scouted by the museum's senior assistant director of audience Bernard Tan, the artist has built on her previous artwork to present another meditative experience: 'Becoming Again; Coming Together', a mixed-media installation that occupies the entire Learning Gallery at ACM. Constructed to complement the blockbuster exhibition, Ran Hwang has added four additional elements: Hanging threads of 50,000 pieces of chili, a projection of a Korean bride and groom, a pair of phoenixes constructed out of five kilometres of string as well as music exclusively composed by Jung Seung Kim, a director of the National Theater of Korea.
Asia Week New York Contemporary will feature work from China, Korea, Japan and India. - By Virginia Blackburn
The inaugural Asia Week New York Contemporary arrives on May 2-10, featuring seven galleries showcasing the work of artists from China, Korea, Japan and India. Taking place at venues across Manhattan, the pieces on show will straddle conventional media such as oil paintings, take in sculpture and installations, and push into more unusual terrain with deconstructed ceramics and, in the case of South Korea’s Seungmo Park, stainless-steel mesh, as in his Maya 7616 on show with Kang Contemporary.
Kang Collection Founder/President Keum Ja Kang Interviewed in Harper's Bazaar (Korea) in April issue. The editor from the magazine, Daye Kim, talked to Mrs. Kang at the gallery about her 35 years of collection. Mrs. Kang shared her memorable experiences with the US Museums.
Glimmering Treasures From the Other Side of the World
Asia Week New York
Over the next several days, until March 18, Asian art on view at Manhattan galleries and auction previews will offer some welcome doses of glitter and lightheartedness and unexpected juxtapositions of materials. Kang Collection Korean Art has hung Jongsook Kim’s contemporary canvases, with landscape contours based on traditional paintings and fashioned from Swarovski crystals. EVE M. KAHN
By Charlotte Jansen
The floating installation by Ik-Joong Kang, part of the Totally Thames festival that opens on Thursday, is a seven-metre-high illuminated cube constructed from hundreds of 70 x 70cm drawings, which were transferred from palm-sized sketches on Korean rice paper.
All the participants fled the North during the Korean war, which ended in 1953 in an armistice, not a peace agreement. The two countries have technically remained at war ever since, and many of the North Koreans who fled have been permanently separated from their loved ones since, forced to build a new life after the border was effectively sealed.
As one of the few representatives of Korean art, Kang collection continues to continue to promote represented contemporary artists, including Ik-Joong Kang, whose moon jar works have been well-received in previous years. Kang's works is mixed media on wood and another contemporary artists, Ran Hwang, uses green buttons, beads and pins on wood to recreate architectural screens. Like Kang's backdrop of candy coolers set behind a moon jar, the vibrancy of the beading adds a contemporary quality to old-world Korean motifs.
By Martha Schwedener
Modern and Contemporary
Much of the contemporary art exhibited in Asia Week’s galleries involves recent translations of ancient traditions like calligraphy, scroll painting or ceramics. At the Kang Collection (9 East 82nd Street), Minjung Kim colors rice paper then applies a flame to it to achieve a bold effect.
At Kang Collection, New York dealer Keum Ja Kang – who had one of the most exciting displays last year – is showing what she calls ‘Happy Modern’ modern and contemporary Korean paintings’. Sun K. Kwak has created picture-sculptures of brightly coloured sticky tape; Ik-Joong Kang, who lives in New York and is best known for his vast installation at the Korean Pavilion at Shanghai’s Expo 2010, presents unexpectedly ethereal and calm moon pictures.
Asia Week New York 2015 is a non-stop week of Asian art exhibitions, auctions, and events throughout the New York metropolitan area from March 13–21.
Asia Week New York 2015 includes exhibitions from 42 leading international Asian art specialists. Hailing from Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Switzerland, and the United States, this group of top-tier dealers represents a rich and diverse range of specialties, presenting ancient through contemporary works of art from China, India, Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, Japan, and Korea.
New York dealer specializing in Korean art is Kang Collection (9 East 82nd Street), with an exhibition of very recent work by Ik-Joong Kang, a contemporary artist whose panels made of pine and liquid plastic — a kind of simulated lacquer — feature traditional motifs like moon jars used in courts for storing wine and panels that mimic bamboo.
Ik-Joong Kang's "Moon Jar With Blue Dot" was featured during Asia Week New York in March 2014
Kang Collection (9 East 82nd Street), one of the relatively few dealers to specialize in Korean art, should be included in any Asia Week itinerary; it’s just steps from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has supplied some of the items in the Met’s collection. It’s now featuring court paintings of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), among them an eight-panel folding screen from a gentleman’s study that depicts bronzes and fruit bowls resting atop piles of books.
Many art and antiques dealers began as collectors, exploring the offbeat areas that others overlook. This was the case of Keum Ja Kang, a Korean newspaper photographer who came to the United States in 1963 on an assignment and decided to stay. After she completed graduate studies in Far Eastern art at Columbia University in 1975, Mrs. Kang started collecting in a field then considered rarefied but which is now gaining an enthusiastic following among museum curators and collectors: Korean art and antiques.
A dealer since 1981, Mrs. Kang stocks Korean artifacts dating from the third century B.C. to the 20th century at the Kang Collection gallery, open by appointment, in Mrs. Kang's home at 250 West 90th Street in Manhattan. The gallery's selection is predominately ancient ceramic vessels, though it includes stone sculpture, painted screens and century-old chests. What is particularly appealing to today's collectors, especially of ceramics, are the prices, which are far lower than those for Chinese and Japanese objects of the same periods.