A journey begins with a single step. When someone steps passes through the threshold of Raandesk Gallery to view the exhibition of South Korean artist Jihay Kang’s A Single Journey, the caravan one embarks on is one of canvases bursting with prisms of color.
Jihay Kang’s artwork is a potent concoction of materialism and subtle statements in bold multi-hues. Her use of color is the catalyst that draws the viewer in, but it is her use of iconography that keeps the viewer’s feet glued in front of her paintings. Her use of color is extremely whimsical and feminine, which is the component that makes her work a refreshing take on contemporary art.
One would be hard press to view her work and not become flooded with feelings of happiness and nostalgia. Her use of stenciling gives her work a rich texture and reminds me of the patterns found in my mother’s lace curtains. But it is the application of the Mickey Mouse silhouette that made Jihay Kang’s A Single Journey an excursion worth taking.
The clever appearance of the iconic Disney character’s silhouette shows how much pop culture dominates our world. The Disney brand is recognized as a multimedia conglomerate, but it also can be seen a vehicle for mass consumerism. Looking at Jihay Kang’s art allowed me to remove my jaded adult contact lenses and look at the Disney brand with the same exuberance I had when I was a child watching Fantasia and Cinderella. Jihay Kang’s art is the visual equivalent to eating a bag of Skittles – full of color and lots of fun.
Jihay Kang’s A Single Journey is on exhibition at Raandesk Gallery, 16 W. 23rd Street, until June 11, but you can also view Jihay Kang’s work online at http://raandeskgallery.com/artist.php?artistId=43.
Photos: F.A.M.E NYC Editor