Hyunae Kang (*1959, Chungcheongnam-do) is a Korean sculptor and painter. She grew up in a rural village untouched by South Korea’s industrialisation during the 1960s and 1970s, which instilled in her a deep connection to the natural world, a recurring theme in her works. At the age of eighteen, she moved to Seoul, where she earned her BFA and MFA in sculpture from Ewha Womans University.
In 1991, Kang’s artistic career took off with her first solo exhibition at Seoul’s Gallery Hyundai. Her sculptures explored the tension between geometric modernism and organic abstraction, blending pure forms with natural irregularities. Kang’s preferred materials, including bronze, wood, marble, and obsidian, reflected her fascination with material diversity to attain a visual balance.
Two years later, she moved to the United States and transitioned to painting. Her art embraced vibrant colours, influenced by American artists like Rothko, Motherwell, and Frankenthaler. Inspired by nature, she creates large, layered, and abstract artworks characterised by vibrant colours and repetitive, thick, and expressive brushstrokes, giving the surface a tactile texture that is both reflective and captivating.
She exhibited her works in various American venues, marking a significant turning point in her artistic journey. It was in 1995 that she gained recognition, when the Seoul Art Museum acquired one of her works for their permanent collection. Since then, her works have been exhibited worldwide and have found a place in private collections and public institutions. In 2022, her first career retrospective, “Dialogues with the Sacred”, was held at the Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center in Anaheim, California. In this exhibition, Kang, as a devout Christian, creates an open connection between the divinity of nature and human expression.