Ceremony of Pilgrimage for the revival of etching

Kang Jung Hun makes use of the unique features of aquatint to control the tonal variation of more than 10 different tones in a single base hue, creating a monochromatic but strong sense of visual cohesion. In most cases, aquatint is created in a single base color. This is why in order to express the control of, for example, light, shades, and tones, as well as fine lines, one must appropriately apply a contrast of light and shade created by a fine technique and corrosion resistance used, An aquatint etching work produced using this technique creates an amazing print that exquisitely compromises a taste of photographs and a taste of paintings.

Kang, who makes etching using the aquatint technique, aims to show not only the outcome of his works but also the context of how each etching was produced, from gathering necessary materials to the completion. It is a long-term project with elements of documentation, recording the life of a work.

Kang, who had immersed himself in the world of etching upon graduation, left to continue his study in England. There, he expands the scope of his research into the field of media. My guess is that he sparked the idea of this work during this process.

Kang, noticing that printmaking papers use cotton as a raw material, put together a long-term project for the duration of about a year: from germinating cotton seeds, harvesting, manufacturing printmaking papers to ultimately producing art works using the printmaking papers. Printmakers of hundreds of years ago, in fact, would have done something similar, too. Then division of labor gradually increased, separating the processes of, for example, supplying papers and manufacturing from selling paints, and printmakers likely began to purchase such items.

If so, why would Kang choose to carry out this difficult process from scratch (which could be seen as a waste of time)? Two reasons probably exist for this. It is clear that as an etching artist, personally experiencing the various stages of the process instead of jumping to the final stage of simply laying out an image on a printmaking paper helps with his work and enriches creativity. As such, I can see the necessity of going through such process at least once in the lifetime of an artist.

In addition to such intention for his work, Kang is well-acknowledged of the phenomenon that the relative stagnation of the etching industry has been deepening due to the serious imbalance between genres in the current art industry. In this context, Kang attempts to express metaphorically his struggle as an etching artist. The work of planting and sprouting cotton seeds germinated inside (and outside of) his art studio using artificial light; harvesting cotton; and ultimately producing printmaking papers is perhaps a spiritual pilgrimage like a ceremony for Kang.

For the field of etching art, such consciousness will be preserved in the forms of cultivation records, photographs, and video recordings, and will be celebrated.

Such work of Kang appears in the form of installation art. To give light to the cotton sprouts being cultivated indoors, Kang uses the light of a beam projector, beaming BBC news reports on, for example, war, bombing, and destroyed buildings. Perhaps the news reflects Kangs intention to highlight the shadows and darkness of a deserted and barren city and of human life while yearning and hoping to discover empathy among humans which is unfortunately fading away.

Because the project is to last about a year and only began in the spring of this year, Kang has yet reached the stage of producing printmaking papers from his cotton plants. Nonetheless, germinated cotton seeds are stored carefully in an incubator with light fixtures and a ventilation system for light, water, and wind.

Kang knows well that his cotton plants will show a considerable difference in the growth rate, condition, and probability of cotton production compared to cotton grown in nature. Nevertheless, through the process, Kang will focus on observing over time each stage of growth (flowering). Recalling Kangs past etching works titled Overflowwith people and sceneries in a big city, this changing process of fragile tiny seeds ultimately become printmaking papers is a process that has a special meaning to Kang.

No one knows whether Kang will be successful. What is important is that Kang has been working on the project genuinely and attentively, making success or failure insignificant. The principles of the growth of plants and nature will positively affect Kangs creative works in the future. Once he completes this project, his next goal is to make his own etching press, and collect natural materials for lithographic inks, and finally produce etching works.

Apart from the production process and production method, the ultimate finish will reveal Kangs topic of interest: the truth of life and ourselves in everyday life. The lyrical consensus his latest works will deliver will not be much different from that of his previous works, but he will be able to better convey his passion and authenticity for etching in more depth and the aquatint technique is expected to create high-quality works.

Ha Kyehun / Art critic

  1. 2017 13.Cotton flowers outdoors

  2. 2017 12.Cotton flowers indoors

  3. 2017 11.Cotton flowers indoors

  4. 2017 10.Cotton flowers indoors

  5. 2017 09.Cotton flowers indoors

  6. 2017 08.Seeds In Order

  7. 2017 07.Harvested Cotton Wool

  8. 2017 06.Circle of Life

  9. 2017 05.When I was a flower

  10. 2017 04.When I was a flower

  11. 2017 03.When I was a flower

  12. 2017 02.When I was a flower

  13. 2017 01.When I was a flower

  14. 2017 00.A particle of dust in the universe

  15. 2017 00.A particle of dust

  16. 2017 0.Ceremony of Pilgrimage for the revival of etching

  17. 2016 22.Studio View

  18. 2016 21.Scarecrow

  19. 2016 20. An Incubator For Cotton Flowers

  20. 2016 19. 디자인정글 리뷰

  21. 2016 18. 전시 리뷰

  22. 2016 16. The Dual Mirrors Reflection Device Of Light

  23. 2016 15. Weeds

  24. 2016 14. Scarecrow

  25. 2016 13. An Incubator For Cotton Flowers

  26. 2016 12. Shyness

  27. 2016 11. An Array of Pots VI

  28. 2016 10. An Array of Pots V

  29. 2016 09. An Array of Pots IV

  30. 2016 08. An Array of Pots III

  31. 2016 07. An Array of Pots II

  32. 2016 06. An Array of Pots I

  33. 2016 05. An Incubator For Seedlings on Pots

  34. 2016 04. Self Watering

  35. 2016 03. An Incubator For Seedlings

  36. 2016 02. Seeds In Order

  37. 2016 01. Self Lighting

  38. 2016 00. 전시 프리뷰

  39. 2016 00. 엽서 (Post Card)

  40. 2015 Walking People 3

  41. 2015 Walking People 2

  42. 2015 walking people

  43. 2015 Save me

  44. 2015 Read me

  45. 2015 Memories of the Lost Giant

  46. 2015 Flush me

  47. 2015 5.Show me

  48. 2015 5.Remember me

  49. 2015 5.Drink me

  50. 2015 4.Light me

  51. 2015 3.Eat me

  52. 2015 2.Age me

  53. 2015 1.Find me

  54. 2015 - Statement -

  55. 2015 - References -

  56. 2014 Write me

  57. 2014 The Taxidermy of the Memory

  58. 2014 The big bang

  59. 2014 Somewhere

  60. 2014 People I Know

  61. 2014 I am...

  62. 2014 A policeman vs 100 people

  63. 2014 A particle of dust 2

  64. 2014 A particle of dust 1

  65. 2014 - References -

  66. 2013 Wondersea

  67. 2013 A simplification

  68. 2012 The universe 3

  69. 2012 The universe 2

  70. 2012 The universe 1

  71. 2010 Walking in the mist

  72. 2010 - Statement -

  73. 2010 - References -

  74. 2009 somewhere

  75. 2009 Nowhere

  76. 2009 Living in New york

  77. 2008 Universal Rules

  78. 2008 Multiple

  79. 2007 Overflow

  80. 2006 Overflow

  81. - CV -

  82. - Contact -

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