Big City Life | 都市人生
Asia Society Hong Kong Center is proud to present Big City Life (2017), the first outdoor sculpture by South Korean artist Eddie Kang in Hong Kong. It tackles the metropolitan life by rekindling our forgotten childhood simplicity and fantasies.
Big City Life is a culmination of Kang’s Big City Life series. It shows five of Kang’s original recurring characters. They are, from top to bottom, Storyteller the clown, Cabbit, Bubble Bearcup, Rag Doll, and Goblin the robot. The weeping clown is a sad optimist; Cabbit, a hybrid of a cunning cat and a naïve rabbit, is an icon of joy; Bubble Bearcup symbolizes pure happiness, for bubble gum was the artist’s favourite sweet; Rag Doll, in memory of his security pillow, symbolizes anger and anxiety, while Goblin speaks to elements inherently negative, such as obstacles, pressures, and abusive behaviours. The sculpture communicates a spectrum of emotions, inviting its viewers into the ups and downs of life in a city.
Kang’s characters are known for their bright colors, strong outline, and animated facial expressions. From a generation that benefited from the accessibly of television, cartoon and its related toys were Kang’s childhood companions. His aesthetic derived largely from their visual style, and the nostalgic atmosphere when reminiscing on his younger self. For the artist, Big City Life is a portal to innocence, giving Hong Kong citizens energy to face future challenges.
Eddie Kang (b.1980) was born and raised in Seoul. He majored in film, animation, and video in the U.S. Rhode Island School of Design. His work ranges from paintings to sculptures, video, and toys. Kang has presented exhibitions internationally in Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo, New York. Kang is a fellow of Asia Society’s Asia 21 Korea Chapter (K21), a network that aims to recognize young talents and promote leadership across the Asia-Pacific.