Ik-Joong Kang lives and works in the Chelsea district of New York City. He has received many awards, including a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship. His work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum, the Ludwig Museum, the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, Washington, DC.
Moon of Dream is part of a continuum beginning with Kang's 1999 outdoor installation 100,000 Dreams. In 2004, Kang incorporated 126,000 drawings by children from 141 countries into a 45-foot high sphere, Moon of Dream, that was floated on Lake Hosu near Seoul. In the work shown here he uses the classic Korean white porcelain "moon jar" to express the harmony of its pure, clear form and his vision of a balanced earth made whole by universal compassion. As Kang explains:
The traditional Korean ceramic, the moon-shaped jar ("Moon Jar") is my story of the sky. It's the sky with floating clouds I remembered from the valley of my hometown. It's the orange-hued moonrises seen from the plane window as I come into JFK after a long trip . . . . The Moon Jar made in the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) was simple and plain like the sky, but it changes in hue and shade, when looked upon with different emotion and in different time . . . .
A Korean video artist Nam June Paik once said that the moon was the earliest TV. Everybody was watching the moon . . . . It was the place of imagination and a playground. The Chinese poet Li Bai drowned when, sitting drunk in a boat, he tried to seize the moon's reflection in the water. The moon was the place of immortality and connecting station to the other world.
Moon Jar, artist's note for the installation 32 Moon Jars for the Korean Mission to the United Nations, New York, 2006, from Ik-joon Kang, (Seoul: Hyunsun Bang, 2007), 80--81.
One of the children's drawings in another project, Amazed World 2001, was inscribed with the wish that a wall of dream will break down the wall of hatred and ignorance that separates humanity. "It was the process of connection," writes Kang, "I was the weaver to fabricate the fishnet."
Kang received his BFA from Hong Ik University, Seoul, and his MFA from Pratt Institute in New York. Kang has exhibited widely, including a one-person exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, New York, in 1996 and a two-person exhibition with Nam June Paik at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Champion, Connecticut. He had group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporay Art, Los Angeles, the Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul. He was awarded the Special Merit prize in the 47th Venice Biennale in 1997. In 2000, he finished a permanent mural project, which was installed at the San Francisco International Airport. Since then Kang has undertaken projects in Munich, Berlin, Shanghai and elsewhere and participates in numerous group exhibitions worldwide.