View of “Suki Seokyeong Kang,” 2018. Photo: Constance Mensh.

View of “Suki Seokyeong Kang,” 2018. Photo: Constance Mensh.

Suki Seokyeong Kang

Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania

For her first solo exhibition in a US museum, Seoul-based artist Suki Seokyeong Kang debuted a project centered on historical Korean conceptions of the grid as a spatial and social structuring device. In the traditional Chunaengjeon (Dance of the Spring Oriole) choreography, for example, the borders of the hwamunseok reed mat, with its crosshatched warp and weft, constrain the movements of a solo dancer; in the classical musical notation system jeongganbo, instructions for motion, vocals, and timing are marked inside a grid. In a 2016 conversation with Lili Nishiyama for ArtAsiaPacific, Kang proposed that these systems of organization form “a micro-society that makes its own territories, own voice, own movement.” This exhibition, “Black Mat Oriole,” invoked such geographic, cultural, and personal groupings through a similarly abstract language of installation, film, and gesture, strongly

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