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Meet Ehja Kang of San Fernando Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ehja Kang.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ehja. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
For me, creating art is like breathing oxygen. I can’t live without it.

I think I was born to be an artist. Even before kindergarten, I would constantly draw things that I saw or imagined. In elementary school, my classmates would form a small line at my desk and ask me to make drawings (e.g. a drawing of a doll, a princess, or a truck) before the teacher arrived in class. My mother would send me off to the library, where I would easily spend afternoons drawing anything and everything I could think of. In first grade, I decided that I would become an artist. I have never considered an alternate profession ever since.

After studying Oriental Art in college in South Korea, I married my husband who has always been incredibly supportive of my work. During my engagement, my mother asked if my then-fiancée was prepared to support someone whose career would require him to ‘pour money into a porcelain jar that had a big hole on the bottom of it.’ He resolutely said yes! And he has honored his word ever since.

We immigrated to Los Angeles in the mid-80s. I continued to study fine art and to develop my work by experimenting and integrating Eastern and Western techniques, art philosophy, and materials. I have been fortunate to have had over a dozen solo shows and over 50 group shows across the United States, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.

As I near my sixties, I still feel like I can spend many more lifetimes exploring and developing new techniques and ways to creatively express my thoughts and reflections of the world around me.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I have been fortunate in not having had many obstacles in my career. With an incredibly supportive husband and two fantastic children (who are now both grownups), I have been blessed to have the ability to pursue my passion for art.

However, I continue to work through a more process-oriented obstacle of creating my artwork. Similar to a writer’s block, I sometimes stare at my huge, empty white canvas with ideas buzzing through my head and heart, unsure of how and where to start. While writers may think in words, I think in color, shape, line, and images. While challenging, I can’t think of a more enjoyable process of transforming these thoughts into images onto a canvas!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am an abstract artist and specialize in mixed-media productions integrating Western and Eastern techniques. I enjoy using rice paper (I usually make my own rice paper), oil and acrylic paints, and other media on canvases of various sizes. If you are interested in seeing more of my work at my studio, feel free to reach out!

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am currently exhibiting my new series called, “Tae-Mong series.” For my next exhibition, I plan to integrate this Tae-Mong series with my past series called “Inscape series.”

‘Inscape’ is a term that I created to refer to my inner world. Terms like landscape, seascape, and cityscape refer to the visible features that the human eye can see. But ‘inscape’ is about the world that exists beyond the human eye — the world that exists within a person.

‘Tae-Mong’ is a Korean term that refers to a special dream that a pregnant woman has about her baby. I remember my Tae-Mong dream very clearly from when I was pregnant with my first child. There was a gigantic container, the size of a swimming pool, which was filled to the brim with uncooked rice. Countless women were crouched next to each other on the edge of this container. Each woman used a water hose to very gently wash the rice, careful not to let a single grain spill over the container. I stood by the huge container, bewildered by what was happening. I asked my father-in-law why there were so many women washing so much rice. He told me that the women were washing the rice to prepare Korean rice cakes to share with everyone in celebration of my baby’s birth.

I meditated on the meaning of this dream for many years. I came to realize that this Tae-Mong is related to the career of my daughter, who researches and studies dictatorships and their transition into democracies. (You can learn more about her at www.JieunBaek.com)

In addition to my plan for my next exhibition, I am open to being inspired to create many more new series.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Ehja Kang

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