The Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. (KCCDC) proudly presents Cut Copy Paste, a new exhibition that features multidisciplinary works by two contemporary Korean artists who each employ repetitive, manual techniques to create paper collages, wax sculptures, and perforated canvases. Showcasing approximately 30 pieces in total, the exhibition examines material and process in order to explore more abstract themes such as mindfulness, harmony, and loss.
Cut Copy Paste is guest curated by Hannah Shambroom from National Museum of Women in the Arts. In Shambroom’s words, Soon Yul Kang layers small pieces of handmade Hanji paper into mesmerizing collages and small, spherical sculptures. For each work, she writes and rewrites a single word – such as “love,” “mother,” “or “human” – in dark ink onto traditional Korean mulberry paper. She then cuts the words into small rectangular segments, from which she forms hypnotic, circular compositions. The ritualistic nature of her process explores harmonious opposites: universal and personal, light and dark, singular and collective. As each word is repeated, its meaning is amplified, mirroring how the small paper pieces come together to form a larger whole.
Soon Yul Kang
Deconstruction Reconstruction 5
Collage, Calligraphy on Korean mulberry paper, 96x96x3cm, 2017
Energy of Yin and Yang 1
Collage, Handwriting on Korean mulberry paper, ink, 30x30cm, 2014
In her cut pieces, Suhyeon Kim makes precise, lace-like incisions into painted canvases, creating texture and pattern by removing material. By doing so, negative space becomes a focal point in her work, forming beauty out of emptiness. In several works, she scatters bits of the removed canvas on the ground below, a reminder of what has been taken away. Kim employs a different approach for her wax sculptures, stacking paraffin blocks to build solid forms. While these techniques may seem to be in opposition, Kim points out that when wax is heated, it eventually melts into nothing – a different sort of reductive action.
Cut Pieces - Black #2
Acrylic on hand-cut canvas, 63.77 x 51.18 in, 2018
Sackdong Series 1
Acrylic on hand-cut canvas, 35x35 in, 2021
For both artists, process is a meditative practice. Cut Copy Paste offers a glimpse into their opposing but complimentary approaches to seeking balance and mindfulness in the midst a chaotic world.
Cut Copy Paste will remain on view from February 4 through March 23, 2022 (walk-in hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., excluding 12 – 1 p.m., Monday – Friday). The virtual guided tour, offering an inside look at each artist’s creative themes, processes, and inspirations, will release through the KCCDC YouTube and Instagram channels (@KoreaCultureDC).
About the Artists
Soon Yul Kang (b.1955, Seoul, Korea) was born in Korea and is a visual artist based in the United Kingdom. Kang received her MA in Textile Design from the Ewha Womans University in Korea and her MA in Textiles (Visual Arts) from the Goldsmiths College, University of London in the United Kingdom. She has participated in various exhibitions including at Royal Academy of Arts in London, Han Collection in London, LA NOUVA PESA inRome and Hangaram Design Museum, Seoul Arts Centre in Seoul. She was invited to the 4th Biennale of the End of the World in Argentina.
Suhyeon Kim (b.1975, Seoul, Korea) was born in Korea and visual artist based in Korea. Kim received her BFA and MFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Ewha Womans University and is currently working as a research scholar at the California State University, Los Angeles. She has participated in various solo and group exhibitions and including at the Lee&Lee gallery in L.A., LA Art Show, Sueno339 in Seoul and Cheongju National Museum in Cheongju.
About the Guest Curator
Hannah Shambroom is the Exhibition Coordinator at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., where she oversees the planning and logistical activities of the curatorial department. She has collaborated on projects with the World Bank Group, the Korean Cultural Center, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She completed an undergraduate degree in Art History from Connecticut College, and holds a master’s degree in International & Intercultural Communication with a focus on cultural diplomacy from the School of International Service at American University, as well as a graduate certificate in International Arts Management from AU’s College of Arts and Sciences.
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