Suki Seokyeong Kang (born 1977, Seoul, South Korea; active Seoul) combines painting, sculptural objects, and built environments in her performance-based practice, which is inspired by traditional Korean dance and musical notation. She draws upon her study of the chunaengmu, a courtly dance performed by women within the confined space of a reed mat (hwamunseok), and Korean musical notation (jeonggbao), in which tone, duration, lyrics, and gesture are all represented within a single system. Kang “interweaves” bodies in motion with metal forms and traditional reed mats made from sedge by contemporary Korean craftswomen who use traditional techniques. Such mats are often used as floor coverings in domestic spaces. In Kang’s work, the mats may be hung on the wall as paintings, draped over metal forms, or laid out on the floor under the feet of performers. They function as a unifying element, linking artistic mediums with bodies navigating space and signifying the ways in which social roles define and restrict the movements of the individual.
Kang studied Oriental Painting at Ewha Womans University—where she holds the position of professor of painting—and at the Royal College of Art, London. Recent exhibitions featuring her installations and performances include Land Sand Strand, Venice Biennale (2019); Square See Triangle, Children’s Museum, Buk-Seoul Museum of Art (2019); Black Mat Oriole, ICA Philadelphia (2018); and The 8th Climate, Gwangju Biennale (2016).