South Korean artist Kang, Hee-joon has been a central member of the YATOO Nature Art scene since the 1980’s. Like many of his colleagues in the Gongju area, his puzzling and humorous conceptual art often relies on the unexpected forms generated by his own body as he interacts with the landscape. He “hides” in tall grass, drags collaborators across beaches or hillsides leaving marks in the earth and hangs brushes outdoors in the wind to generate squiggly drawings.
Kang’s work delights in the unexpected forms in nature and seems to suggest, in an engaging and visceral way, that we are all making an impact on the land no matter what we do. We see ourselves in his conceptual performances and feel the results. Works on paper involving clusters of thorns, cracking mounds of soil smeared over stumps or even ephemeral woven reed sculptures left hanging between trees are often titled “Drawing” or simply “Winter”, “Autumn”, etc.. These works blur the boundary between the hand of the artist and the passing of the seasons.
According to the artist, there is “divine poetry” in the “small delicate objects from nature which are not recognized by people normally”. Kang, Hee-joon, excels at finding and drawing out these poems.