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Ballpoint Beauty Explores Artistry of Natural Mutations


The power of the pen will be on display in The Gallery at Penn College when Joo Lee Kang’s “Nature, Fathomable” is exhibited Aug. 18 through Sept. 20.

With a ballpoint pen, the Boston artist explores nature, its transformations and evolving definitions in intricate detail. Her work has been featured in various publications, including ARTnews, Hi-Fructose Magazine, New American Paintings, Artscope and The Boston Globe.

A Meet the Artist Reception is set for Tuesday, Sept. 1, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., offering a 5:30 p.m. gallery talk. The reception and exhibit are open to the public and free of charge.

Joo Lee Kang, “Still Life with Shells #4,” ballpoint pen on paper, 19 x 25 inches
Joo Lee Kang, “Still Life with Shells #4,” ballpoint pen on paper, 19 x 25 inches

“By drawing mutated animals and plants, I question nature’s place in the modern context,” Kang said. “What is nature? What is natural? The subjects that I portray in my drawings reflect the ambiguity of such definitions. They show how I feel at loss to describe what is natural in our present day. Crossbreeding, genetic engineering – the ways in which humans can control and reconfigure the natural process – become more abundant as technology advances. Should the results of such human-developed processes be construed as a part of nature, or should nature exist independently of human progress?”

Kang has had recent solo exhibitions at Gallery NAGA in Boston and the Museum of Art at the University of New Hampshire, and was invited for an artist collaboration at Miramar Shopping Centre in Hong Kong. In addition to her exhibit at The Gallery at Penn College, another upcoming exhibit is at 1st.iKON, a gallery in Seoul, South Korea.

Kang also works as an instructor for Seoul Digital University in Seoul.

Kang received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from Duksung Women’s University, Seoul.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including Willapa Bay Artist Residency Fellowship, Haslla International Artist Residency Fellowship, Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum Artist Residency Fellowship, School of Museum of Fine Arts Traveling Fellowship, St. Botolph Club Foundation Artist Grant, a Massachusetts Cultural Council Award in drawing, and a Dana Pond Painting Award.

The Gallery at Penn College is on the third floor of the Madigan Library. The gallery is open Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 to 7 p.m.; and Wednesdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to serving as an educational resource for Penn College students and a cultural asset to the college and community, the gallery is dedicated to promoting art appreciation through exhibitions of contemporary art.

For more about Pennsylvania College of Technology, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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