Yunjung Kang was selected as one of the Knotwe 2015 Student Award recipients by members of the Fiber Textiles Surface Design Registry. As part of the award, we asked all the student award winners the same set of questions about the past, present and future within their studio practice and how they see their career ahead.
Q: What point in developing process or concept would you describe as a defining moment in your professional development?
Kang: Inside/outside dichotomy in the human body is central to my artistic exploration. As there are interior and exterior structures of the anatomical body, I think there are invisible inside and outside space in the mind or soul as well. I’m interested in this invisible inside/outside psychological space in intimate relationship between others and myself. Regardless of physical distance, they exist inside of me, or outside from me. I’m interested in these emotions of fullness and emptiness as well as the physical structures of the body. I want to connect these features with one thread to create abstract allusions to the human body through balance and tension of materials. By putting emotional state into the formal investigation, I seek lots of abstract potentials through shrinking and expansion, denseness and looseness and negative and positive space. My work brings form to feelings of presence and absence as well as connections of emotional and physical intimacy.
Q: Who or what would you describe as a major motivation in your work?
Kang: When I was a child about 8-9 years old, I used to darn the holes in my and my family’s socks. It was such fun play that I really enjoyed. I have liked to sew fabric since then. I learned how to sew by observing my grand mother. Darning my socks was a way to practice sewing a lot. I was really satisfied with my repaired socks and sometimes making doll’s clothes and mysterious abstract forms out of it.
I think my childhood experience about enjoying craft activities and attachments of domestic material has influenced going to art school for Fiber Art as my major study. Whether or not it is influenced by my childhood experiences, for my current body of work, material study is a major part of my artistic exploration. I have enjoyed dealing with materials that have the potential to transform into a body of work, textiles, drawings (material sketches) and sculptures, in many diverse directions. Material investigation and manipulation are meaningful for my creative activity. It brings me to think further about the understanding of textiles and about the relationship between textiles and materiality.
Q: What are the long-term accomplishments that you hope to achieve in the future?
Kang: I hope to have huge installation projects, traveling a lot of countries. It will be very exciting moment that I meet new group of people and communicate and share things, learning new cultures and customs.
Q: When you consider how to take your next step professionally, where do you anticipate the future of creative professionals such as yourself is heading? How will you and others apply your skillsets and ideas?
Kang: I would like to continue participating in professional communities such as Colleges, Residencies, Workshops and any Educating group etc. It is always delightful experience for me to meet new people and groups as well as work with them. The communal activity is meaningful to share critical conversation in order to further develop ideas, skills and progress.
Q: How does technology impact your ideas about making?
Kang: My work has not been hugely impacted by technologies such as computer programing or machine work. I might incorporate advanced techniques into my work to find new solutions. However, I have been working mostly with traditional hand techniques with non-traditional materials so far. I love the beauty of hand-made objects; which evoke more natural feelings and senses. If I adopt technology for my work, I just wonder what it is going to be. But I don’t know yet.
Q: If there is one place you would like to travel to one day to learn more, become inspired or inform your work in some way, where would that be? To do, learn or see what?
Kang: If I have a chance to travel to one day, I would like to visit Cranbrook Academy of Art where I graduated from last year. When I was at Cranbrook, the beautiful environment around campus was huge influence on my development both personal and artistic. It is an isolated place, but inspiring from all natural and beautiful sources; weather, people, road, architecture and nature etc.
To learn more about Yunjung Kang's work visit www.yunjungkang.com