Born in 1960 in Cheong ju and raised in Seoul, Korea, Ik-Joong Kang has lived and worked in New York City since 1984. He received his MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and a BFA from Hong-Ik University in Seoul, Korea.

Kang has exhibited widely, including: a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, New York in 1996; a two-person show with Nam June Paik at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Champion, Connecticut; group exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, the British Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; the Ludwig Museum in Germany, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Korea. In 1997, he was awarded The Special Merit prize in the 47th Venice Biennale, and in 2014 Kang was among the artists featured in the Korea pavilion that received the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

The artist is internationally recognized for creating major public art works using multiple 3 x 3 inch canvases to spotlight the plights of people and societies around the world. In December 1999, Ik-Joong Kang worked with 50,000 children from South Korea in creating 100,000 Dreams. This project featured a one kilometer-long, vinyl tunnel?inside which all of the children’s works were displayed.

In 2001 Kang completed the project ‘Amazed World’ commissioned by the Republic of Korea in association with UNICEF. Approximately 40,000 works by children from 150 countries and a diverse range of cultures, religions and political beliefs were displayed in a giant maze installation in the lobby of the United Nations building in New York. In 2013 the artist built a 175-meter-long covered bridge, ‘The Bridge of Dreams’, in Suncheon, Korea, containing 120,000 drawings by children from around the world. Last year alone the ‘Bridge of Dreams’ drew more than 5 million visitors. Kang has installed children’s drawings at many hospitals and public places around the world including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (Ohio, USA 2006), Zaitun Library (Erbil, Iraq 2008) and Asan Medical Center (Seoul, Korea in 2010).

Situated in the center of the River Thames by the Millennium Bridge, Floating Dreams in London 2016 is the latest piece in his body of works that shed light on the suffering of displaced people and communities in war-torn locations across the world. Constructed from 500 miniature drawings and illuminated from within, the three-story-high lantern structure acts as a memorial to the millions displaced and divided during the Korean War (1950-53) and a poignant symbol of hope for the reunification of North and South Korea. The installation is commissioned and presented by Totally Thames. Ik-Joong Kang commented “River is alive. It talks, breathes and thinks. I know Thames does same thing. And it can also connect and embrace us.”

His next project is making a circular shape bridge over the Imjin River that separates North and South Korea. Kang says, ‘The children’s dreams fill the inside of the bridge, and anyone who walks on this bridge will be sent to the future without even having to buy a ticket’.

Kang has received many awards and fellowships, including a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship and Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship. His works are in the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, the British Museum in UK, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Ludwig Museum in Germany, the Samsung Art Museum, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Korea. 

Ik-Joong Kang

BORN in 1960, CHEONG JU, KOREA
WORKING/ LIVING in NEW YORK

EDUCATION

1987 : Pratt Art Institute (MFA), Brooklyn, NY
1984 : Hong Ik University (BFA), Seoul, Korea

SELECTED PROJECT / ONE OR TWO-PERSON EXHIBITION

2023 : A wall of Dream, ICDH UNESCO, Cheongju, Korea
2023 : Things I Know, Hangeul Public project, Korean Cultural Center, Madrid, Spain
2022 : The Moon is Rising, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea
2021 : Bridge of Dreams, Outdoor Installation, Imjingak DMZ Park, Paju, Korea
2020 : Busan Arirang, Busan Museum, Commissioned by Republic of Korea, Busan, Korea
2020 : Gwanghwamun Arirang, Commissioned by Republic of Korea, Seoul, Korea
2020 : Kiddy Car, The War Memorial of Korea and Camp Humphreys, Korea
2020 : Moon Jar/Longing For Home, The Korea Society, New York, NY
2018 : House of Dreams, Permanent Outdoor Installation, Cheongju, Korea
2018 : My Hometown, Cheongju, Korea
2018 : My Dream Career, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
2018 : Memorial Garden, Permanent Outdoor Installation, Suncheon, Korea
2017 : Things I Know, ARKO, Seoul, Korea
2017 : Moon Jars, National Gallery of Art, Sofia, Bulgaria
2017 : Samramansang, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea
2016 : Floating Dreams, Thames Festival 2016, London, UK
2016 : Cube, Picture Book Library, Sun Cheon, Korea
2016 : Going Home/Arirang,Odu Mountain Unification observatory, Paju, Korea
2015 : Singing Water, Permanent Outdoor Installation, Sun Cheon, Korea
2013 : Bridge of Dream, Permanent Outdoor Installation, Sun Cheon, Korea
2012 : Things I know, Sabina Lee Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2012 : Things I know, Public/Outdoor Installation, Industrial Bank of Korea, Seoul, Korea
2011 : Wall of Hope, Public project, Jang An Gu Hospital, Suwon, Korea
2011 : Wall of Hope, Public project, Halla Hospital, Jeju Island, Korea
2011 : Ik-Joong Kang vs Ik-Joong kang, POSCO Art Museum, Seoul, Korea
2010 : Ik-Joong Kang: Mountain / Wind, Alexander Oches Gallery, Beijing, China
2010 : Ik-Joong Kang, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea
2010 : Wall of Hope, Public Project, Myongji Hospital, Goyang, Korea
2010 : Wall of Hope, Public Project, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea
2010 : Wall of Hope, Public project, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
2010 : Things I know, Public/Outdoor Project, Korean pavillion in Shanghai Expo, Shanghai, China
2010 : 25 Wishes, Korean Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
2009 : Moon Jars, Neuffer am Park Kunsthalle, Pirmasens, Germany
2009 : Multiple / Dialogue ∞, Nam June Paik and Ik-Joong Kang, National Museum of Contemporary Arts, Gwacheon, Korea
2008 : Ik-Joong Kang: Mountain / Wind, Alexander Ochs gallery, Berlin, Germany
2008 : Ik-Joong Kang / Inexorable Dream; The Korean Affair, Andrew Bae Gallery, Chicago, IL
2008 : Wall of Hope, Public Project, Gyeonggido Museum of Art, Ansan, Korea
2008 : Recent Works, Kang Collection, New York, NY
2008 : Recent Works, Alexander Ochs Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2007 : Ik-Joong Kang / Everything He has, Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
2007 : Mountain / Wind, Public/Outdoor Project, Gwanghwamun, Commissioned by Republic of Korea
2007 : Small pieces for Peace, Public/Outdoor Project, G8 Summit, Organized by Eurasian Foundation, UNICEF Germany, Heiligendamm / Münster Bad Doberan, Germany
2007 : Moon of Dream, Public/Outdoor Project, Tae Hwa River, Ulsan, Korea
2006 : Amazed Children, Public Project, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati, OH
2006 : Chance of Space, Princeton Cultural Council, Princeton, NJ
2005 : Amazed World 2005, Public Project, Muhammad Ali Center, Louisvillle, KY
2004 : Happy World, Public Project with Princeton Community, Princeton Public Library, NJ
2004 : Moon of Dream, Public/Outdoor Project, Commissioned by WCO, Ho Su Lake, Il San, Korea
2004 : Buddha with Lucky Objects 2004, Speed Museum, Louisville, KY
2003 : Buddha with Lucky Objects and Other Works, Sabina Lee Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2003 : Amazed World and Other Works, Goethe Institute, Berlin, Germany
2003 : Kang & Zhang, Shanghai Contemporary, Albrecht, Pruess & Ochs, Shanghai, China
2003 : Happy Relief and Other works, Hutchins Gallery, Long Island University, Long Island, NY
2002 : Buddah Eating Rice, Shanghai Contemporary at Bund Center, Shanghai, China
2002 : Bridges-Interspace-Sky (in part of Space, Time and Architecture, organized by National Gallery and Deutscher) Collaboration with Zeiger and Schell Architecture firm, Pruess and Ochs Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2002 : Cologne Pagoda and Other Works, National Museum of East Asian Art, Berlin, Germany
2001 : Cologne Sculpture, Cologne Messe, Cologne, Germany
2001 : Amazed World, Public Project, United Nations, New York, NY
2001 : Enter the Heaven, Cultural Center at Geistag, Munchen, Germany
2000 : 
Gateway (Permanent Installation), San Francisco International Airport, CA
2000 : Enter the Heaven, Asian Fine Arts Berlin, Berlin, Germany
1999 : 100,000 Dream, Public/Outdoor Project, Pa Ju Unification Park, Korea
1998 : Nam June Paik / Ik-Joong Kang, Asian Fine Arts Factory, Berlin, Germany
1997 : Throw Everything Together and Add, Venice Biennale, Korean Pavillion, Venice, Italy
1996 : 8,490 Days of Memory, Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, New York, NY
1996 : 365 Days of English, Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA.
1996 : Throw Everything Together and Add, Art Space Seoul, Cho Sun Il Bo Museum, Hak Go Jae Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1996 : Buddha Eating Chocolate, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, England
1994 : Multiple / Dialogue, Nam June Paik / Ik-Joong Kang , Whitney Museum of American Art at Champion, CT
1994 : Throw Everything Together & Add, CAPP ST. Project, San Francisco, CA
1992 : Ik-Joong Kang, 3 x 3, Queens Museum, Queens, NY
1992 : Buddha Learning English, Asian American Art Center, New York, NY
1991 : More is More, Collaboration with Bing Lee, Amelie A. Wallace Gallery, SUNY at Old Westbury, NY
1990 : Ssound Paintingss, Main Gallery, Montclair State College, Montclair, NJ
1990 : Public Performance: Untitled, Collaboration with Sang-Won Park, Main Gallery, Montclair State College, Montclair, NJ
1990 : Public Performance: Untitled, Collaboration with Sang-Won Park, Epoche Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
1988 : 6,000 Works, Broadway Windows Gallery, New York, NY
1987 : 3,000 Works, Thesis show, Pratt Art Institute, New York, NY
1987 : Public Performance: Everybody Thinks Oral Sex, Bronx River Gallery, Bronx, NY
1986 : One Month Living Performance, Two Two Raw Gallery, New York, NY
1986 : Public Performance: For the Cold Wall Collaboration with Antonin Mares, Legien/Leuschordamm, Berlin, Germany
1986 : Public Performance: Flying Paintings, Openplatz, Kassel, Germany
1985 : 1,000 Works, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, Brooklyn, NY

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITION

2024 : Arirang, The 30th Anniversary Exhibition of Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Palazzo Malta, Venice, Italy
2024 : Happy World, Godzilla Echoes from the 1990s, Asian American Art Network, Eric Firestone Gallery, New York
2020 : Chosunilbo 100 Years, Seoul Arts Center, Seoul, Korea
2020 : Gallery Hyundai 50 Years, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea
2019 : The Story of You and Me, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Cheongju, Korea
2018 : Stories and Dreams, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan, Korea
2018 : Hommage to Posco, Seoul, Korea
2017 : Samramansang, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea
2017 : Contemporary Korean Ceramics, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
2016 : Contemporary Korean Ceramics, Foundation Bernardaud, Limoges, France
2016 : Recent Acquisition, British Museum Korea Gallery, London, UK
2015 : Reshaping Tradition: Contemporary Ceramics from East Asia, USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA
2015 : NK Project, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
2015 : The Art of Our Time: Master Pieces from the Guggenheim Collections, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
2012 : DMZ Art / Book Project for Peace, Gyeonggido Museum of Art, Ansan, Korea
2012 : 50th Anniversary Exhibition, Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
2010 : Mr. Rabbit in Art Land, Gyeonggido Museum of Art, Ansan, Korea
2010 : Works in the Open Air, Gyeonggido Museum of Art, Ansan, Korea
2010 : Moon is the Oldest Clock, National Museum of Contemporary Arts, Seoul, Korea
2009 : Art Summer 2009, European Center for the Arts, Dresen, Germany
2009 : Floor, Ceiling and Wall, Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
2009 : Artist and Moon Jar, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea
2009 : New Chunjaeyeon, Yeomiji Botanical Garden, Jeju-Do, Korea
2008 : Transcendence: Modernity and Beyond in Korean Art, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
2008 : Salunallets, St. Matthaus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany
2008 : Moving Towards a Balanced Earth, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand
2007 : Kunstfest Weimar, ACC Gallery, Weimar, Germany
2007 : Contemporary Korean Artists in New York, Seoul Arts Center, Seoul, Korea
2006 : 13 Artists in New York, Korean Mission to the United Nations, New York, NY
2005 : Thirty ways of making painting, Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
2005 : Renewed Expressions, Howard County Center for Arts, Ellicott City, MD
2004 : Declaration (100 Artists for Peace), National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwa Cheon, Korea
2004 : Kwang Ju Biennale, Citiy Museum, Kwang Ju, Korea
2004 : Pedestrian, Bronx River Art Center, Bronx, NY
2003 : 100 years, 100 dreams, Space World Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2003 : At the Crossroad, Korean Cultural Council, New York, NY
2003 : Dream and Reality, Smithsonian Museum International Gallery, Washington D,C.
2003 : Explaining Magic, Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2003 : Der Rest der Welt, Neuffer im Park, Pirmasens, Germany
2002 : Buenos Aires International Biennale, National Museum of Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2002 : 70 Artist around World Cup, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea
2000 : Neuerwerbungen aus der sammlung Ludwig, Museum Ludwig Cologne, Cologne, Germany
2000 : Koreamerica Korea, Art Sonje Center, Seoul, Korea
2000 : Continental Shift, Museum Ludwig Aachen, Aachen
2000 : Six Degrees of Inspiration, Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VA
1999 : Kunst-Welton in Dialog, Museum Ludwig Cologne, Cologne, Germany
1999 : Crossing Zones, Depaul University Art Gallery, Chicago, IL
1999 : Words, Texts, and meaning in the Permanent Collection, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY
1999 : Year of the Tiger, National Musuem of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea
1998 : Notes Across Asia, Konzerthaus Berlin, Germany
1998 : Year of the Tiger, Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin, Museum Lugwig, Aachen, Germany
1998 : Where I am (Expo 98), Galeria Municipal Da Mitra, Lisbon, Portugal
1997 : American Stories, Setagaya Museum, Tokyo, Japan
1997 : Kwang Ju Biennale, Citiy Museum, Kwang Ju, Korea
1997 : Objectivity, Contemporary Art Center, Virginia Beach, VA
1996 : Just Past/Permanent Collection, 1975-96, The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, CA
1996 : Sites of Chinatown, Museum of Chinese in the America, New York, NY
1994 : Old Glory, New Story, Capp Street Project, San Francisco, CA Santa Monica Museum, Santa Monica, CA
1994 : Habana International Biennial, Centro Wifredo Lam, Habana, Cuba
1993 : New Expressions in Asian American Art, CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY
1993 : Slow Art, P.S.1 Museum, Long Island City, NY
1993 : Dismantling Invisibility, A Space Gallery, Toronto, Canada, Art in General, New York, NY
1991 : Louder, University of Illinois, Gallery 400, Chicago, IL
1990 : International Art Show, Iida Museum, Japan
1990 : Food, Hunterdon Art Center, Hunterdon, NY
1990 : China, Hongkong Art Center, Hong Kong P.S. 1 Museum, Long Island City, NY
1990 : Artist Against Racism, Bedford Styvesant, Cultural Center, Brooklyn, NY The Clocktower, New York, NY
1989 : Uptown Downtown, Asian American Art Center/City Gallery, New York, NY
1987 : Togetherness Always, Bronx River Gallery, Bronx, NY
1987 : Personal History, Minor Injury, New York, NY
1986 : Micro Max, Now Gallery, New York, NY
1985 : Summer Group Show, Lasser Gallery, New York, NY
1982 : Fu Exhibition, Total Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1981 : Independent, National Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

AWARD / FELLOWSHIP

2021 : Culture Merit Award, Republic of Korea
2012 : Korean Art and Cultutre Award, Republic of Korea
2012 : Alumni Achievement Award, Pratt Art Institute, New York
2008 : Proclamation from City Council of New York
2007 : Ellis Island Medal of Honor
1997 : Special Merit Award, 47th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
1997 : Louise Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship
1997 : Today’s Young Artist Award, Republic of Korea
1996 : The Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship
1994 : New York Foundation of Art Fellowship in Painting
1990 : New York Foundation of Art Fellowship in Painting

ARTIST BOOK / CATALOGUE

2022 : “I can see myself when the water in my heart is calm”, Published by Songsong Books, Korea
2020 : “My Hometown”, Published by Republic of Korea, Korea
2018 : “Sarubia” Published by Songsong Books, Korea
2018 : “Moon Jar” Published by Songson Books, Korea
2017 : “Ik-Joong kang Things I Know” Published by ARKO Art Center, Korea
2011 : “Ik-Joong kang vs Ik-Joong Kang” Published by Posco Art Museum, Korea
2010 : “Ik-Joong kang”, Published by Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Korea
2009 : “Baram eu ro suk ee go ddang eu ro ee eur ji go” Published by Arumjigi, Korea
2009 : “Paik / Kang” Published by National Museum of Contemporary Arts, Korea
2008 : “Wall of Hope”, Published by Kyung Ki Do Museum, korea
2008 : “Ik-Joong Kang on the Moon”, Published by Velocity Co.
2007 : “Ik-Joong Kang”, Published by Velocity Co.
2002 : “Starving Artists’ Restaurant Guide”, edition 3
1998 : “Starving Artists’ Restaurant Guide”, edition 2
1996 : “Starving Artists’ Restaurant Guide”, edition 1
1991 : “Throw Everything Together and Add”, Published by Ik-Joong Kang’s 1990 tax return money

COMMISSION / COLLECTION

2016 : National Museum of Contemporary Arts, Korea
2015 : Detroit Institute of Arts Museum
2015 : National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
2014 : British Museum, London, UK
2013 : Seoul Museum of Art, Korea
2012 : UNICEF, Seoul, Korea
2011 : Sungshin Women’s University, Seoul, Korea
2011 : Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY
2009 : Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
2008 : Zaitun Library, Erbil, Iraq
2008 : UNESCO, Paris, France
2007 : Kyung Ki Do Museum, An San, Korea
2005 : Commission, New Jersey Transit Authority, (Newark Broad St. Station), NJ
2003 : Commission, Princeton Public Library, NJ
2000 : Commission, KOEX Asem Hall, Seoul, Korea
2000 : Commission, Hungkuk Life Insurance, Seoul, Korea
2000 : Museum Ludwig Cologne, Cologne, Germany
1999 : Presdient’s Committee on Arts and Humanity, Washington, D.C.
1997 : Whitney Museum of American Art, NY
1997 : Samsung Museum, Seoul, Korea
1997 : The Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY
1997 : Han Sol Cultural Foundation, Seoul, Korea
1996 : The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
1994 : Commission, San Francisco International Ariport (main terminal), CA
1992 : Commission, Department of Cultural Affairs, (Queens Vocational School), NY
1991 : Commission, Metropolitan Transit Authority, (Queens Main Street Station), NY 

ARTIST TALK / WORKSHOP

2023 : Art Talk and Workshop “Things I Know”, Cairo, Egypt
2023 : Talk Concert, Dongbu Changgo, Cheongju, Korea
2023 : Hangeul Public Art Workshop, Edithvale Community Centre, Ontario, Canada
2022 : Suncheon Bay National Garden, Suncheon, Korea
2020 : The Korea Society, New York, NY
2018 : Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Ansan, Korea
2018 : Chungcheongbuk-do office of Education, Cheongju, Korea
2016 : British Museum, London, UK
2016 : 5 x 15/ 5 Speakers, 15 Minutes Each, London, UK
2016 : Institute for Unification Education, Seoul, Korea
2016 : Dong A University, Busan, Korea
2012 : Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
2011 : Williams College, Williamstown, MA
2011 : Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan, Korea
2010 : Metropolitan Museum of Art, Korean Gallery, New York, NY
2009 : National Museum of Contemporary Arts, Korea
2009 : Hong Ik University, Seoul, Korea
2008 : Young Nam University, Daegu, Korea
2008 : Loyola University, Chicago Humanities Festival, Chicago, IL
2008 : Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
2007 : Sam Sung Scholarship Workshop, Yosemite National Park, CA
2005 : University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
2004 : Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ
2003 : Long Island University, C.W. Post, Long Island, NY
2002 : National Museum of East Asian Art, Berlin, Germany
1999 : Parsons School of Design, New York, NY
1997 : Long Island University, C.W. Post, Long Island, NY
1997 : Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY
1997 : Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
1996 : Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, New York, NY
1996 : Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK
1995 : Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY
1994 : Whitney Museum of American Art at Champion, Stamford, CT
1994 : School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
1994 : PRATT Art Institute, Brooklyn, NY
1993 : New York University, New York, NY
1993 : State University of New York at New Paltz, NY
1992 : Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY
1990 : Montclair State College, Montclair, NJ
1990 : PRATT Art Institute, Brooklyn, NY