b.1989, South Korea
Jang Koal is a self-taught artist who has possessed a deep love for drawing from a young age. Growing up in the care of her grandparents, she was often brought along when visiting Buddhist temples. Here she became acquainted with the striking traditional art that covers the temples' exterior and interior, which sparked a fascination for their colourful depictions and enigmatic atmosphere.
These early impressions continue to reverberate in her present-day artistic practice; however, the now Seoul-based artist has pushed on to explore more contemporary themes and methods of working on hanji, a traditional Korean paper. Utilizing modern materials and techniques, she works with contrasting vivid, solid colour sections against intricate patterns and constructs elegant imagery in which female figures are immersed in an imaginary parallel world filled with cats, flowers, and nature. Sourcing positive memories from her personal life, Jang addresses seemingly mundane and peaceful scenes but simultaneously touches on subjects that she is only able to express without restrictions through painting. Mixing the surreal, often ambiguous, or mystical atmospheres with bright colours and harmonious lines and compositions, she is able to create a captivating tension in which her subjects seem to feel most comfortable.