Mason Mansung Kang
After retirement from 35 years of service in the petroleum business, at the age of 61, I decided to pursue my long-time dream to paint. As a Christian, I feel the awe and wonder of the divine providence to see every corner of this world. I think the world we live in is truly a beautiful place. Every natural entity is different and unique and this diversity makes the world beautiful. 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 affect 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. I have just begun to experience this in my own work and want to develop my ability to paint beyond what I simply observe from life. I want to show the exact feelings that I have while I’m on site.
I like to use oil as the medium for my work due to its depth and great versatility. In my painting, ‘Boating on the Arno’, I enjoyed describing the information I noticed in the shadows under the bridge, and was also happy to paint various colors with different values on the waves of the flowing river. In ‘Country Field in Winter’, I was excited to paint the colors with various values of both the ground and snow spots in shadowy areas too. ‘On the Hill, California’ was a challenging painting. I tried to paint the sensations I felt at the site, which was the bright sunny and windy day of typical Californian weather. It was also challenging because at a glance it looked like there was nothing special for me to paint. But while I was painting, I realized that nature always presents something beautiful that deserves painting. Even the small part of grass, sand, and the tiny stream on the pathway were enough for me to enjoy painting them.
I may never be fully satisfied with the result of my work, but the beauty of this world keeps me seeking satisfaction and bliss through painting. I will continue to embrace this struggle and live my life this way for the rest of my years.