leekyung kang

Navigating the structural framework and “bone/skeleton” of infrastructure in the urban landscape since 2014

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The Zone of Zero Probability - mixed media installation, video projection and found objects, dimensions variable, 2016 


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Imaginative Beholdingmixed media installation, dimensions variable, 2017 

My work presents the deconstructed anatomy of existing space from images, which indicate themselves in a way constructed digitally, questioning how the structure of 2 dimensional can be transformed into 3 dimensional space through process of how I structure my perception of “virtuality”. 

I have navigated the structural framework and “bone/skeleton” of infrastructure in the urban landscape since 2014. By exploring the surface of spatiality such as construction sites and scaffolding structure, I have leveraged architectural imagery with mixed media. I am seeking to uncover the unseen space, which is present, but never fully revealed. I would like to capture this unfinished state and challenge the conventional understanding of space, which tends to focus on its physical condition, history, and transformation.  

Recently, my inspiration from digital navigation made me think about the definition of reality. When I was walking down the street, I suddenly wondered what lies underneath me? Are the trash and sewage, once above ground, now buried or hidden? This underground world does not show up on Google Earth, nor can I see it when I walk down the street in “real time.” I am standing on the surface of “reality.” That is, on the street or ground. However, when my imagination turns to subterranean space, it acquires a layered thickness, an accumulated mapping of endless histories, time, spaces, transitions, and so on. Here exist compressed layers of life of which we may or may not be aware. In my work, I excavate the layers one by one, flipping them over, through the digital language within Google Earth.  

                          

                         

                

               

Ever-thickening and Thinning Space -  mixed media installation dimensions variable, 2017 

This work is a video installation that uses traditional and digital media to place the viewer in the projected reality of a hypothetical space in unseen architectural space, which is between the 2nd and 3rd dimensions. Specifically, in Google Earth, the camera eye traverses different surfaces from the urban streetscape to the underground to the cosmos. Caught in the glitches between “real” and “fictitious,” what is usually invisible representation of place now becomes a speculative puzzle that dazzles by extending our perception of reality.  

In actual fact, this idea comes from the printmaking process, in which the image is a layer on top of a substrate. For example, in lithography, the grinding process of stone reminds me of layered history on the stone, but in a digital platform, the layers are infinite. In order to define “reality,” which is in fact an invitation to explore imaginative space, I explore the delamination of reality in the Google Earth world. I uncover bizarre, creepy building structures, nearly demolished skeletal structures due to the insufficient information about certain sites, and the irregular pattern of surfaces.  

This virtual navigation seems more real, and the cognition of place in my mind has moved away from the physicality in real time. Because of appearances of glitches in the Google Earth system, I am able to discover temporal failures and errors that are reflecting the process of mechanical reproduction, and I am fascinated with the uncanny aesthetic. The co-existence of 2D and 3D worlds disorients me profoundly. But I have become more curious about the randomness and repetition in this complex territory, which is illustrated by the glitch. This can be characteristic of the digital reproduction system, and I use it as a lens for looking into our world. 

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In Between Interstices, UV light and wooden strips, dimensions variable, 2016 

Leekyung Kang is originally from South Korea, and she currently works and lives in Doha, Qatar for artist in residency at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Kang's work is creating the illusion of dimensions by capturing the unseen architecture space between the 2nd and 3rd dimensions through both traditional installation and digital medium. Influenced by her formal training as painter, Kang's work focuses on pictorial elements, usually in the architecture context with linear perspective, with gradual transformation of 3 dimensional forms that challenges the perception of space. Kang participates in several residencies in US, Middle east and South Korea internationally and shows work at New York, Providence and Boston.