[...] There’s a reason why many of Suki Seokyeong Kang’s abstract, found-object structures feel strangely familial, even human. Her subtly anthropomorphized “Grandmother Towers” are sculptural portraits of her late grandmother. One of the Korean artist’s sculptures—an arched construction resembling coffee tables or musical drums stacked into a craning formation—is a tender representation of her relative’s hunched-over spinal column. Imbued in these personal forms is the artist’s exploration of the relationship between individual and society; she sees her grandmother as an embodiment of Korea’s tumultuous recent history.
“Her seductive formal systems belie their political resonance and gesture equally to the movement of bodies and to individual agency within society,” said Alex Klein, who, with Kate Kraczon, co-curated the 2018 exhibition “Black Mat Oriole” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia—Kang’s American museum debut. Her sculptures also appeared in a slew of biennials last year, including the Shanghai Biennale, the Gwangju Biennale, and the Liverpool Biennial. But it was in 2019 that she received her greatest career accolade: inclusion in the 58th Venice Biennale. There, Kang is showing sculptures incorporating textiles known as Hwamunseok made by Korean craftswomen, which she inserted into frames based on the proportions of her own body.
Kang has several solo and group exhibitions in the coming months, including shows at Mudam Luxembourg, in commemoration of being awarded the Baloise Art Prize last year; the Buk Seoul Museum of Art in Seoul; and the Los Angeles gallery Commonwealth and Council. She is represented by Tina Kim Gallery and Kukje Gallery.