|▲ Kang Hae-in, Director of Sohyang Korean Painting Research Center|
Artist Kang, Hae-In is the most famous for her anchovy-themed works. She was greatly influenced by abstract art and endeavored to find a variety of materials with curious eyes. She studied art at a college of education and taught students in Seoul. She put down the brush for a while after marriage and went back to her hometown Tongyeong where she met her high school art teacher Kim, Ahn-young again. She was impressed by Kim who still carried on his artistic career, themed on shrimps, fishes and water birds of Tongyeong, and that made her to grab her brush again. “The city reminded me of old memories and it was good to see the sea again. One by one, inspirations came up and I could re-start my passion in art” says Kang. Appreciating Korean paintings, it might be helpful to know the symbols of things often appear: carp means fame and prestige, shrimp celebration, and fish harmony and abundant offspring. Interestingly, anchovy appears the most in Kang’s Korean paintings. An art critic Park Young-taek said “Kang mixes figurative and abstract with lines and surfaces crossed. The brush freely moves here and there but anchovy seems to appear as a group in a simple form. She places anchovy instead of shrimp and a variety of colors and shapes fill the canvas. It is impressive to see the dynamic movement and vitality of anchovy as well as the sparkly silver.” To back up the critic, Kang emphasizes on a certain thing (anchovy) with many colors instead of binding herself to the traditional forms. “Fishes don’t close their eyes when dead. They swim from one direction to another ceaselessly and I found my own comfort from their dynamical movement. So, I wanted to express the vitality onto canvas.” Kang continues “I applied figurative and abstract to create my own style. I like using as many colors as possible and for this reason ask my students to find new colors by mixing them up. Korean painting for me is a process of breaking the old frame to create a new.” As a Korean painting teacher at a culture center in Sacheon City, Kang encourages students to focus on what they want to express rather than making a good picture; and the class often takes place outside for photo or exhibition tours. Kang displayed a number of her works at 2017BAMA(Busan Annual Market of Art), Gyeongnam International Art Fair, Daegu Art Fair, Sacheon Li Gallery (invitational) and Dongpirang Gallery (invitational, 2015). When she was asked about future plan, Kang said “The city I live in and the surrounding areas have relatively less cultural and art facilities than other regions. So I wish to open a gallery in Samcheonpo where artists can display their works and share information.”
Note: <Power Korea> ‘rewrites’ Korean article into English ‘concisely’.
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