ANGELA HOJUNG JANG
Inheriting artistry from her film actor and actress parents, Angela Hojung Jang was born in Seoul in South Korea, with naturally gifted talent. Because of her parents’ love of film, Jang was naturally exposed to the film industry as well as the artistic environment. Unlike many other artistic practices where most Korean artists are trained at academic centers, Jang built her own world of art in her family. Her major turning point to study toward professional programs was at Art Club at her middle school by her art instructor, Jongsuh Kim. As a female artist in Korea, her desire to create artwork was buried under the conservative societal norm of the South Korean culture. However, she was able to break the societal shell to find her identity with her thoughtful observation of her role, as a female, mother, wife, and daughter-in-law. Jang is currently in a Ph.D. program in the Fine Art Department at Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul with a full scholarship and exceeding in her academic achievement at the top level. Jang’s art practice has been focused in this series, “Beyond What You See,” that is primarily focused on conceptual representational paintings describing plastic bags for the last 5 years. Her solo exhibitions have been in Seoul and in Shanghai in China. Jang was also selected artist in New York in 2016. Her series “Beyond What You See” is the proposed artwork as the second recommended series by Prak-sis Contemporary Art Association.
Angela Hojung Jang’s visualization and contextualization in her paintings are not what you see only. One can imagine the juxtaposition of the usage of plastic bags. Jang emphasizes the context of symbolic object beyond the beauty of hyper realistic method of painting on canvas and acrylic panel.
Jang was able to find her unique observation of a grocery plastic bag reflecting our mundane life. The wrinkles in her oil painting are the creation after we use the bags to contain groceries or objects to carry from one to another location. It can be home kitchen, or restaurant kitchen, or any other locations that would prep the ingredients to serve and the grocery would nurture healthy body. It can be anywhere that are in needs for those objects. However, once it was used for its function, those become so abandoned until it would become next use of it. When Jang realized that this kind of happening to human society in relationships, at times psychologically she reflected on herself, it does not become only her story. She wanted to create dialogues of one’s existence. Jang wanted to state that her best effort is to make the plastic bags shine and elegant through the detailed wrinkles at fine level of art. The more wrinkles created by usages and containing goods to carry, the more shines to thin plastic bag become. That would carry her message how one can be spotlighted without luxury goods or fancy fashion items. One that serves us and is useful for our everyday needs is so precious. In order to create this perspectives in visual statement, Jang sets up a fine form out of plastic bags and special lightings spotlight to the plastic bag in her studio and photograph it. Then Jang digitally processes the photograph to refine the visual to paint with oil paints. Her interest of gigantic sizes of paintings is to speak out loud her message. Jang hopes that more people would see and hear her messages in this series.