Dressed the Tree, 2013. Mulberry fiber, bronze, tree branch, and copper, 9.5 x 38 x 6.5 in.

Eun Jin Jang: A Natural History of Sculpture

In the work of Korea-born, New York area-based sculptor Eun Jin Jang, we see the refinement of thought and materials that we have come to expect from Asia; moreover, we sense the exploratory decision-making that accompanies innovative sculpture in Western culture. Rather than acquiesce to a critical language that too easily collapses these approaches into a hybrid, perhaps we can try to understand Jang’s work as a unity that provides a seamless sensory experience. Too often, critics have reduced Asian abstraction to a wannabe in the big-league world of occidental painting. In sculpture, the problem is similar. Korean sculpture has generally been seen as playing catch-up with Western avant-garde innovations. It is therefore important to establish a way of looking that will objectively situate Jang’s work within an internationalism that has been part of the postmodern aesthetic for at least a generation. Though there would be nothing inherently wrong in attempting to merge two very different aesthetics in our reading of Jang’s work, such an interpretation merely repeats what we already know—that similar approaches to abstraction can be active in different cultures at different times. …see the entire article in the print version of November’s Sculpture magazine.