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Another Experiment by Kukjin Kang : Flow of Printmaking Unfolding as Part of Abstract Art Experiments

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2019, 57(), pp.261-296
  • DOI : 10.17527/JASA.57.0.10
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Received : April 15, 2019
  • Accepted : May 11, 2019
  • Published : June 30, 2019

Eun-Joo Lee 1

1아트스페이스 와트

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article analyzes how Kukjin Kang's early passion for experimental art had transferred to the genre of printmaking and evolved. In the early to mid-1970s, Kang moved beyond his early obsession with happenings, objects and installation art; and taught himself diverse printmaking techniques such as woodcut, etching, mezzotint and lithography in pursuit of a new medium. He left behind some 250 prints, all of which are ‘abstract’ pieces. The research, therefore, first examines Kang's take on early abstract art from his writing “Words In My Artwork”, published in Noncol Art, with an aim to understand how radical experimental spirit in his early works was reflected in the printmaking medium. Secondly, the research analyzes his experiments with traditional printmaking techniques and multi-media art form along with objects and neon installation works he showcased at the Union Exhibition of Korean Youth Artists and the Total Art Exhibition. He made artworks in a two-dimensional plane by layering Korean traditional paper hanji, produced prints using materials like aluminum cooking foil, pressed physical objects like LP records on a sheet of paper, and produced printings with no edition. In other words, Kang dynamically developed various experiments that later became the attitude and concept of printmaking as of today. Lastly, Kang initially started printing, driven by his experimental spirit towards ‘machine-finished output.’ After he mastered printmaking techniques, however, he went on to produce ‘hand-finished output.’ The researcher labels Kang's printmaking as “performance printmaking” as it progressed from machine-created to hand-created, and posits that Kang's abstract printmaking went through a shift from ‘objectivity of machinery’ to a performing ‘subjectivity of the body.’

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