UniteWomen.org is pleased to announce the fifth of twelve featured artists in our online art show “Women’s Rights: An Artist’s Perspective“- Kay Kang’s artwork is entitled ‘It’s a Girl’
The inspiration for my installation “It’s A Girl!!”, speaks to an old Korean tradition for communicating the birth of a new born. When a female is born, charcoal is attached to a hemp rope and hung outside of the front door; but when a boy is born, red peppers, signally joy, are hung on the rope. This work is composed of three door jams hinged to each other, with hemp rope nailed and hung across them. Charcoal pieces, about 4’x3” each in size are treaded through these hemp ropes. Written on these charcoal pieces are Korean female names. Dried red peppers, which represent the birth of a male, are strewn on the floor. Another strong Korean tradition involves the naming of daughters. In the old days, many Korean parents named their new born daughters male names at birth, in hopes that their mothers would bear sons instead of daughter in the future. Although this tradition is now not widely practiced, many women in my generation were given male names and today continue to wear this badge.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
A central theme in my art – and issue in my life – is alienation/assimilation of the immigrant in a foreign culture. As a Korean woman in the United States, I have been confronted with the obvious issues of race, language and geography, but I have been also struggled with the cultural conflict that exist for women born in Asian cultures who must learn to cope with a new and starting social model in the west. My work has a very special relevance in today’s world. I speak in a voice that talks directly to the experience of the Diaspora of Asian feminine identity and the experience of female submission in a male dominated society. Many of my works coalesce around a common theme; Korean patriarchal customs.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITS
This online exhibition is in support of UniteWomen.org featured on this website and our Facebook page.
In addition to the online exhibit, there was a gallery exhibit held during November 2013.
1221 Bowers Street #2225
Birmingham, Michigan 48012-2225