Sun Young Kang ~New York

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Sun-Young Kang received a BFA in Korean Painting from Ewha Woman's University. After working briefly as a children's book illustrator and designer, she moved to the US and earned an MFA in Book Arts/Printmaking at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Sun Young Kang: "My working process is always repetitive, to represent every single moment as a timeless space in between absence and presence, as well as providing a visual/invisible concept of their interrelationship. The effect of light and shadow, and the delicacy in the strength of thin paper are most commonly used in my work as a metaphor of the inseparability of life and death, as well as an installation device to create two conceptual spaces-one side and another in the same space."

   
Miniature book by Kang  
   
In Between Presence and Absence, 2
By Sun Young Kang
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Sun Young Kang, 2009. Edition of 10 + 1 AP.

10.25 x 10.25 x 2.5" closed, opens to 24.25 x 10.25 x 2.25"; book sculpture. Papercutting. Kozo Natural paper. Text screen printed. In black cloth covered clamshell box with two sides opening.

Sun Young Kang: "As a potter springs a wheel to create a pot, I have cut out pages in the shape of a bottle to create absence and presence. The repetitive working process presented in the accumulated pages represent every moment as a timeless space in between presence and absence, as well as providing a visual/invisible concept of their interrelationship. I say, in this sculptural book, that the presence only exists when the absence is recognized.

"While I was cutting pages to create absence in the text block (on the right side of this book), I was automatically creating the presence of the absence, which is on the left side of the book. Through the working process, I was able to realize that antithetical ideas such as Presence and Absence, Full and Empty, cutting down and piling up are inseparable. As a finished sculptural book, I hope it invites the viewers to imagine my working process and to think about the meaning of emptiness in life and the interrelationship of presence and absence."

$400
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Sun Young Kang Out of Print Title:  
   

Memories Unfolded
By Sun Young Kang
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Sun Young Kang, 2011. Edition of 10 + 1 AP.

3 x 2.25"; 27 pages. Accordion fold from back pastedown. Shadow book. Paper cutting. Colophon on back pastedown. Paper-covered boards with cutout door designs in matching paper tipped on. Thread and button closure. Laid in archival phase box with velcro closure.

This is a shadow book meant to be read under a lamp or spot light in a dark space.

Sun Young Kang: "I have created this shadow book with paper-cut-out images of Korean traditional doors. The process of cutting the pattern of the doors to create shadows recalls my memories of my grandmother in her old house. When I was inside, I could see the shadow of Grandmother cast on the paper doors from outside. Grandmother's presence as a shadow on the door has remained a strong image in my mind. Unlike many other doors, the traditional rice paper door does not totally block the inside and out from each other. It only creates the concept of this side and the other while simultaneously connecting them to each other. When this accordion book is unfolded, the pages are shaped as closed, connecting the memories of my Grandmother, who is now in the other side, with myself in this world."
(SOLD)


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The Story of Thousands of Stars
poem by Suk Bum Hong
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Sun Young Kang, 2005-2009.
Edition of 10 + 2 AP.

1Two books: 4.5 x 2.25"; 52 pages. Hand drawing. Computer-manipulated and inkjet printed photograph. Handmade paper for text block. Boards covered in Korean Warahani paper with inkjet printed image. Case bound with optic binding.

Sun Young Kang: ""The name Man-Byul, meaning 'thousands of stars' in Korean, was created by combining the first and last syllables of Man-Nam (meeting) and Yee-Byul (farewell) respectively. Man-Byul is the story of our life, combining both the happiness and joy of 'meeting' with the inevitable sorrow of 'farewell'...."

Sun Young Kang in "To someone who is reading these words about the Story of Thousands of Stars": "The words in this book written in Korean form a poem or a short statement written by my old friend. This friend has been studying astronomy and his favorite part of his study was looking up the stars. But before being in science, he wanted to be a writer....He used to write many poems.... [some] of them were about star[s] to talk about love. I think he meant more romantic love...but when I read [The Story of Thousands of Stars] I understood it as human connectivity and the nature of human life, so I asked his permission to use the words for my book....

"Korean has syllables like English but [they] can be separated and still readable. And each syllable doesn't always have meaning like Chinese but it is still readable and understandable when separated in order....I actually used this trait of Korean and separated all the syllables and repositioned them to use each syllable as an image. So each syllable is a Star in this book. Then I connected each with the pencil line to provide the original order and also to make a constellation. So, if you are a Korean speaker and if you read each syllable in the order, you can read and understand.... But if you just look quickly without knowing the meaning, it is more like images than word.

"Each page normally has one phrase of one short sentence.

"Conceptually, each star is connected to each other and they make their own story just like we human beings are all invisibly connected and create our stories through this life. There are so many stories in the sky like many pages of the book and all the pages become the whole sky, the circular shape of the book. So, I wanted each volume to form the circular shape like sky when you open the book. (I don't know the actual shape of the sky but it is circular in my mind. Also, circular shape is the perfect shape for me because it never begins and never ends.)

"Each of the two volumes can be separated as meeting and farewell respectively, but they are originally together and become another circle again. I believe that our life is composed with two ideas, which are meeting and farewell, birth and death, happiness and sadness and etc."
(SOLD)


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Page last update: 02.22.17

 

   
  
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