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INKstudio Presents Observing My Distant Self: Kang Chunhui


Copyright The Artist; Courtesy INKstudio

Observing My Distant Self: Kang Chunhui
May 25 – August 18, 2024
Red No. 1-B1 Caochangdi, Chaoyang District, Beijing

INKstudio is pleased to present Observing My Distant Self: Kang Chunhui, marking the artist’s premiere solo exhibition at the gallery. Offering an immersive journey into a crucial juncture in her artistic development, the exhibition unfolds in two distinct sections: “Observing My Distant Self” and “Undeniably Me.”

Occupying the entirety of INKstudio’s ground floor, Observing My Distant Self 73°40E96°23E 34°25N48°10N, 2019-2023, is an expansive eight-part multimedia project responding to Kang’s childhood dream in the form of a metaphorical pilgrimage to the Western Regions. Eight 6’6”-long videos place an aspect of Kang’s artistic practice in spatial dialog with a location in Xinjiang selected by Kang for its historical, sociological, and cultural significance. On her pilgrimage Kang makes eight stops: the Kumtag Desert, Lop Nur, Bosten Lake, Tarim Poplar Forest, Kuqa Old Town, Tianshan Grand Canyon, Kizilgaha Beacon, and the Kizil Caves. Throughout her journey, Kang explores the boundaries between place, history, memory, self and creativity, conceiving them not as rigid territories but as expansive areas for exploration, exchange, synthesis and transformation.

On INKstudio’s third floor, Kang debuts new works in her Post-Modern synthesis of historical Central and East-Asian polychrome painting styles. In the latest works of her signature Sumeru series, she continues her alchemical exploration of mineral and organic red pigments through the form and metaphysical theme of the fold.  In The Hidden Protagonist: Mount Fuchun she transgresses the traditional boundary between xieyi or “calligraphically expressive” and gongbi or “meticulously descriptive” painting while interrogating the dialogical relationship between self and history through the landscape.

Kang Chunhui is a female visual artist born in Urumqi and educated in Seoul who has entered the hallowed grounds of the literati landscape—populated since its inception exclusively by men—to assert herself as a contemporary artist with an uncompromising, distinctly feminine vision. She describes her approach as a form of homage, not to the masters of the past, but to her own emotional connection to nature itself. In the end, Kang Chunhui, undeniably herself, ends up her own “hidden protagonist.”

To learn more and view her works, click here.