New York, NY, August 9, 2010. Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is pleased to present Airan Kang: Light Reading. Not only is this the artist's first solo exhibition in New York, but also her first solo endeavor in the United States. Kang's artistic lexis centers on book-shaped sculptures fashioned out of resin and LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). For nearly a decade she has been both personifying and objectifying discourse and our concepts of knowledge by simulating libraries, bookstores, and reading rooms. Made with LED devices that emit colored lights programmed to continually change in brightness, hue and intensity, each "book" in this exhibition conflates material and ephemeral depictions of knowledge to realize the pluralistic spaces of our imagination.
For this exhibition, Airan Kang furthers her "Digital Book Project". This virtual world was created as an homage to specific books that are her current sources of inspiration. Kang traveled around the world to visit and photograph different bookstores and famous libraries in order to then recreate each environment as digitized versions of the original simulacra. The familiarity of these places gives Kang's lurid universe an unexpected and sublime sense of organic beauty.
Each of Kang's unique book covers are modified appropriations of the original covers rather than an exact replica. The "hyper books" are then arranged in stacks to show Kang's growing interest in the relationship between text and the imagined literary space that the texts represent. This is further asserted as quoted text from each books in LED scrolls across the surface, making the information contained readily available and accessible to the viewer. Thus the content of each book is automatically visible, suggesting an ultramodern view of knowledge and intellect that is predetermined and entitled, rather than learned over time.
Airan Kang was born in Seoul, South Korea, where she earned her BFA at Ewha Womans University, and then later earned her MFA at the Tama University in Tokyo. Her work has beenshown in exhibitions including Digital Utopia at Gallery Korea in New York, Vent d'Est at the Sorbonne in Paris, 10 Years After at the Insa Art Museum, Book Project at Keumho Museum, and The Second Seoul International Media Art Bienniale at the Seoul Museum of Art. Kang is currently a professor at the Ewha Womans University in Seoul.