Today we’d like to introduce you to HanBit Kang.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I usually have watched film and animation every day. I cannot explain my life without those. Therefore, I have lots of influence on the film and animation while I create. However, when I was in college, I deeply desired to learn ‘Art’ itself without limitation of materials, and also meet people who have a various point of view in the different art area. Eventually, I decided to study in Fine Arts Painting, but I kept making short study film as well. I fell into the field having elements of freedom and infinity like philosophy. I learned how to challenge myself and thinking more widely. Nowadays, I am working on film festival staff and learning the system of film art industry. As an artist, I start the second stage of my life now.
Please tell us about your art.
Through my body of artwork, the duality of the desire to hide and be revealed makes a complicated and intriguing atmosphere, both ridiculous and serious. In my artworks, I use creatures who have human forms to represent this dual feeling of hiding and revealing at the same time. At first glance, these creatures seem to be hiding but they still want to be seen. They reveal some of their body parts like fingers, teeth, and butts. These body parts, instead of language, show their desires and constitute the metaphor for my anxiety. When the audience views my work, they take on the role of capturer and the creatures take on the role of the hider. This narrative was born through my spontaneous process, and I believe it comes from my childhood when I needed to manage my emotions.
One of the most significant artistic influences on my art practice is Park Chan-Wook who employs duality in his works. Park’s films present aspects of perspective and a dark and humorous atmosphere that I find intriguing. Among his films, Thirst (2009) clearly conveys this dark and humorous atmosphere. This film is inspired by Émile Zola’s Thérèse Raquin and most convincingly communicates a sense of seriousness and humor.
The creatures are hiding, but they are against hiding at the same time. I hope to create a space that offers an ideal exit for the audience from their reality. I trust my pieces will give the audience opportunities for building conversations and opening interpretations. I would like the viewer to take away various interpretations of my pieces.
Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
Honestly, I am not sure what is the best advice about financial challenges for the artist but I think, as an artist, we have to believe ourselves and keep making artwork. Also, do not hiding your art, show your artwork to the audience as many as you can. Through this process, money will follow us naturally. For me, this is the only solution.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
If you are interested in my works, you can visit my website at hanbitkang.com. In addition, I keep uploading in progress, new pieces and exhibition information on Instagram www.instagram.com/hanbitkangart/. Please keep track on my website and Instagram.