By Caitlyn Shea
Jin-kang Park’s conceptual artworks are infused with a sense of longing and missed connections. Growing up in South Korea, where many families are separated by war, Park moved to the United States to pursue an arts education. This redefined her self-identity and it had a powerful impact on her work. She describes: “When I first came here, I worked based on my memories and thoughts about the different social roles I had assumed in my life (daughter, artist, citizen etc). I never experienced a major disaster so far, but it’s the smaller moments of my life among people, observing them or even walking on the street, that have been influencing my work.”
Park works across many different mediums including interactive installations and performance. Her entire body of work takes on a delicate, ephemeral quality. The presence of the artist is felt in her manipulation of materials; however there is a strong role of chance and unexpected results. When viewing her installations, one is left with the impression that her works could be disrupted or changed easily by outside forces, which is something that she embraces.
Park’s ideas always come to her before the materials she chooses to use. She has studied the basics of electronics, dance and even magic. For the last 6 years she has been captivated by yarn and fabric, so she is currently learning to use a loom. In her blog, she embraces artists across many different mediums, including painting. It delights her to find any artist that is passionate and “crazy about something.” Her inspiration also comes from day-dreaming. She says:
“I love spending time doing nothing. The time I lie still, visualizing what I want to make is pivotal. Drawing, which is the next step, helps me to clarify the details of the project. Then, I am finally ready to build the work.”
Park walks us through her approach to the individual installation she produced for the SPARKBOOM Beards, Bards, and BOOM event:
“The land always tries to go back to nature. No matter what you build, it will be corroded and assimilated into nature over time. When I was invited to exhibit at Walt Whitman Birth Place, inspired by Walt Whitman’s poems, I wanted to make something harmonious with nature. I found the perfect place for my project behind his statue. It is a hidden space full of weeds surrounded by three trees. When I was standing there, I felt the warm sunlight through the tree leaves and it put me in a contemplative mood. I made a structure with metal bars and tied it with green threads repeatedly. From afar, my work looks like some object that changes its colors to blend in with the surroundings and camouflage itself. “
See Jin Kang-Park’s new piece during SPARKBOOM‘s KICKOFF event, “Beards, Bards, and BOOM””, at The Walt Whitman Birthplace on Saturday, June 21st from 7-10PM. RSVP here. Visit her website at jinkangpark.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Caitlyn Shea is a professional fine art painter. She studied Studio Art and Art History at Pratt Institute and Skidmore College before graduating with a BFA from Adelphi University in 2011. Outside of her studio, Shea is captivated by the pluralism that exists in art today, and the ways in which individual artists define themselves and their practices in order to carve out a unique career. By interviewing participating SPARKBOOMTM artists, Shea looks to develop a dialogue between practicing artists and an audience that does not only include other art experts, but people who have a newfound urge to become involved in experiencing the work of fresh, exciting artists.