Critic's Note: Tension Relationship between Line and Plane
While Western Modern painting’s main focus is to reveal the paneled planes in the foreground, Korean traditional painting's major focus is the exquisite function of dynamic lines. To Kang, Kyung Koo, the issue of tension between tradition and modernity is represented as the tension between line and plane. These tense relationships exist by making the plane/planes out of lines and by integrating both the planes and lines. In the past, Gang’s way of exposing these principles were fully explored in his 2000 and 2001 private exhibitions. But in the work that came before these exhibitions and after, the opposite appeared. Through this exploration, Gang’s work proceeded to the traditional principle of creating a dynamic spirit in his artwork. It focuses on rich expressions through embodied motions from the black-inked brushwork that fills the whole canvas. Here the artist's performance is exposed by the gaps between short lines. The series ‘Fire-Forest Fire’ and the series ‘The Forest’ were created in this way. The extravagant and colorful brushstrokes move like a group dance with expressive motions that occupy the dominant position on the canvas. Contrary to this, his work is closer to that of a modern neo-expressionistic form, rather than the adherence to traditional methods. For instance, his materials have been changed from paper and black-ink bar to the canvas and acrylic paint. However, the black and white works are drawn on the canvas with a fusain. In his 2011 exhibition, ‘Distant Shadow-Mountain Fortress Diary’ seemed to be the rebirth of dynamic lines, which were revealed in his 2000-year work, ‘Forest Fire’. In the black drawing work, delicate and neat brushwork is used to create tension.
Artist's Education: Seoul National University. Korea. M.F.A., Painting.