Airan Kang is a conceptual and media based contemporary artist from Seoul, Korea. The space of media art lives on illusion. It is the place where existing forms and meanings based on relationships between humans or humans and objects become no longer valid. Since the 1990s, Kang has been exploring her “Digital Book Project,” where dust jackets are enshrined in mirrored or clear plastic and then lit up with LED to become neon sculptures. Libraries, journals, poems, words and typography entwine with technology, bringing the internal world of ideas, thoughts and the imagination, into the exterior; carving and creating ‘interspaces’ with them. This body of work serves to explore the book as a symbol of human knowledge and its significance as a portal for information both as a physical object and in virtual space.
In recent years, stepping out of the temporal condensation on book culture, Kang has delved into the history and identity of Korea. Starting from considering her own identity as a Korean woman, she focuses on female poets of the Joseon Dynasty who pioneered the cultural history of Korean women. With the use of digital books and moving images, Kang draws attention to the narrations of women artists and their works with contemporary media, accusing the colonial government for the oppression and violence of colonial women of various classes. Through installments such as “The Sublime: The Space of Heterotopia,”( 2009) “The Luminous Poem,” (2011) and “Room for Reflection,” (2020) her work engages the desire to be freed from traumatic memories of sexual assault and harrassment and raises awareness to Techno-Feminism. That being the notion where technological and media art can be reorganized and reborn to become part of women’s discourse, straying away from exclusive property of men.
Airan Kang studied Painting at Ewha Womans University and received her M.F.A and Ph.D. at Tama Art University in Japan. The artist has been a professor of the College of Art & Design at Ewha Womans University. She was invited to numerous museums and biennale, including Arko Art Center, Seoul, Korea; International Media Biennale, Korea; Bienal de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla, Spain. Her solo exhibitions have been shown globally and has been awarded 1994 14th Suknam Prize at Suknam Art and Cultural Foundation, Seoul and received the Grand Prize at the 1987 5th National Art Exhibition, Seoul, Korea.