Capturing The World’s Beauty in Paintings
Mason Mansung Kang was born and raised in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and currently lives in California. As an artist he combines artistic prowess, versatility and a positive vision. His diverse portfolio encompasses superb paintings of landscapes from Korea, California and Europe.
The extremely prolific artist excels in a range of subjects – from landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes, to figures and still life. In addition to his paintings, his drawings also reflect a keen observation to detail, form and values.
Mason Mansung Kang, Busy City, oil on canvas, 24″ x 18″.
Kang prefers plein air painting to the studio-only-work, and explains, “The beauty of a scene is not only the objects themselves but also the combination of the moods and the feelings I had at the sites. Due to a shortage of opportunities and the time allowed, I have mostly painted in the studio from photos that I took myself. But I’m seeking the opportunity to paint en plein air as much as possible.”
He won the top Featured Artist Award in the Manhattan Arts International “New Beginnings” exhibition which I had the pleasure to curate. When I asked him what he hopes to achieve with his paintings, the artist replied, “In short, I would like to express this world more beautifully than it looks, not than it is as it is actually, and truly, a lot more beautiful than it looks. I would be very happy if the viewers of my paintings can feel the same sublime sense of warmth, happiness and contentment.”
At the moment he says he is mostly focusing on the landscape, which actually includes some combination of other areas like cityscape or figures too. “What I love is actually the dramatic balance of light and shadows regardless what kind of objects they are.”
Although born with an innate talent, the artist only began to pursue his passion for painting full-time after retirement. He studied at the Graduate School of the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, and he obtained his MFA in Painting in 2016. Since 2015 his artwork has won 17 awards from various organizations throughout the U.S. and Korea. He is currently represented by the Bill Hester Fine Arts gallery in Santa Fe, NM.
Mason Mansung Kang, Sunset at Bolinas Lagoon, oil on canvas, 48″ x 36″.
His personal beliefs have influenced the kind of paintings he creates. “I, as a Christian, thank God for the creation of this beautiful world and for allowing us to be able to feel, see, touch, and even own these ‘Beauties’ of the world. I think this ‘Beauty’ originally comes from various mysterious sources of ‘light’ by which we all can see anything exists in the world. The dramatic combination of light and shadows always enraptures me and lures me to paint it on the canvas.”
When submitting his entries to the Manhattan Arts International “New Beginnings” juried exhibition he wrote: “The visual changes of the natural world, with unending colors and values that exist in light and shadow over each season and over time, create variations of moods and emotions that always affects my mind. I struggle to observe these subtle colors, but also enhance the colors that are usually not noticed by untrained eyes. To share this beauty is the goal of my efforts.”
The artist returned to school to earn a degree after his retirement. and encourages others to pursue their passion, no matter what time in their life they happen to be. “I think I’m very much lucky that God gave me such a talent and even such a passion to actually carry it out. Many of my colleagues envy me for that. But I would like to recommend people never to hesitate to put anything you want to do into action realizing that we still have much longer time in our lives than expected or estimated before. Once you tried, you would realize again that time flies and the new world appears so close to your eyes.”
When asked about his upcoming exhibition Kang replies, “Many people in Korea want me to have it here in my home town. I plan to do it sometime in October 2017 in Korea. I need such time to prepare the new paintings as I have consigned most of my recent paintings to the Bill Hester Gallery in Santa Fe, NM before I returned home last September, 2016.”
How does he define “success” as an artist? “Basically artists shall have no financial difficulties in order to continue to create their art works. And I think the real success as an artist is to obtain the same level of respect and consensus intended by the artist from as wide an audience as possible.”
Visit Mason Mansun Kang’s website www.masonmansungkang.com
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