Alex Kang

Alex Kang

Artist Statement

Cognitive understanding of the world is permeated by language. Words need to be explored, examined, and questioned. Their meanings constantly shift, evolve, and transform. The act of translation has always been an imperfect field and a never-ending task of refinement. Ethos and rhetorical situation is often lost without the original speakers’ voices. Just like words, translation is always in flux, unstable, and never definitive.

The act of stretching and experimenting with the malleable properties of language is fundamental to my practice. I often criticize the supposed neutrality of language, especially Standard American English, and question the inherent power structures that are embedded in everyday exchanges. I aim to create new relationships and meanings in the simultaneity that exists in the spoken and written forms of English and Korean.

Translation not only expands our constricted perspective on the world, it also enhances our emotions regarding a sense of belonging. When reading translated texts, our identities cross cultural boundaries, allowing one to think outside of our preconceived notions of reality and a singular world.

My practice is largely concerned with the loss (or conflation) of original meaning in the act of translation between languages or even in the act of “translating” thoughts into the visible, tangible, or audible. I am interested in exploring and embracing the inevitable failures and inaccuracies that nonetheless remain rich in interpretation and possibilities.

Artist website



  • MFA, Photomedia, University of Washington, 2018
  • BFA, University of Texas, Arlington, 2016



  • See Also, Specialist Gallery, Seattle, WA, 2018
  • Participating artist with the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth’s Portable Document Format in conjunction with Doug Aitken: Electric Earth



  • Gonzales Graduate Recognition Award
  • Three time recipient of the Barnett Foundation Photography Award



  • Aaron Flint Jamison, chair (Photomedia)
  • Rebecca Cummins (Photomedia)
  • Ellen Garvens (Photomedia)
  • Emily Zimmerman (Jacob Lawrence Gallery)
  • jahlbutahkhapnida by Alex Kang
  • Detail of jahlbutahkhapnida by Alex Kang
  • Detail of jahlbutahkhapnida by Alex Kang
  • Detail of jahlbutahkhapnida by Alex Kang
  • Detail of jahlbutahkhapnida by Alex Kang
  • Untitled by Alex Kang
  • words, just for you by Alex Kang
  • mommy do not disappear by Alex Kang