This is the US museum debut of Seoul-based artist Suki Seokyeong Kang’s ambitious project Black Mat Oriole (2017). A culmination of five years of research and production by the artist, the exhibition is conceived as an installation that brings together sculpture, painting, and video to engage viewers with the power and politics of space. While Kang’s expanded painting practice is rooted in her research into classical Korean poetry, craft, and dance, her concerns are firmly articulated in the present. This body of work references the historical Korean solo dance “Chunaengmu,” which was performed for royalty and adhered to strict codes of court etiquette. With this in mind, Kang explores how a space can be divided into grids whether with regard to systems of power, cultural customs, or artistic lineage. These issues are also addressed through sculptures that reflect the weight and tangibility of objects and through “hwamunseok”—traditional Korean mats handwoven with reeds—that when brought together gesture to how bodies might move through a choreographed space.
The opening weekend of the exhibition will include a new “activation” directed by Kang in person and will feature Seoul-based choreographers Hyeongjun Cho and Hongseok Jang.
Suki Seokyeong Kang: Black Mat Oriole is curated by Alex Klein, Dorothy and Stephen R. Weber (CHE ’60) Curator and Kate Kraczon, Laporte Associate Curator.
A fully illustrated catalogue featuring essays by the curators and an interview between the artist and Maria Lind, Director of Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm and designed by Seoul-based design studio Sulki & Min is forthcoming.
Suki Seokyeong Kang (b. 1977, Seoul; lives and works Seoul) studied Oriental Painting at Ewha Womans University, and Painting at the Royal College of Art. She now lives and works in Seoul. Recent exhibitions include The Eighth Climate, Gwangju Biennale (2016); As the Moon Waxes and Wanes, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon (2016); Group Mobile, Villa Vassilief, Paris (2016); Foot and Moon, Audio Visual Pavilion, Seoul (2015) and Grandmother Tower, Old House, Seoul (2013).