Mirang Wonne: Profession: Artist Provenance: Seoul, Korea
LOCAL GENTRY, 2004
From the moment Mirang Wonne was born in Seoul, Korea, her life was rich with art and culture. Wonne's father, a highly respected educator, exposed her to many artists while her mother showed her the importance of education by becoming the first female college graduate in the country. It was evident that at an early age Wonne was destined to become an artist herself. "I drew on the walls and stairs," she explains.
Her childlike doodles quickly turned into more mature works of art when she began painting her favorite boulders from her hikes through Seoul's nearby mountains. After receiving an BFA, MFA, and PhD from art schools in Korea and France, Wonne took her interpretations of her favorite granite sculptures to new heights by painting them on large hanging copper sheets and meshes. She calls them her "floating rocks."
Her first installation was held at Paris' Vincennes Flower Park in 1973. Today, this Atherton resident and mother of two keeps her exhibits to the West Coast, including two upcoming spring shows in Burlingame and San Francisco.
While it might be tempting to stop there, Wonne is quick to remember her roots and gives back as much as she can. She is the president of the Association of Northern California Korean-American Artists, which is organizing a group show to be held this year in Los Angeles. Asked if she ever considered teaching, Wonne replied, "I realized quickly that teaching was not for me. I need more freedom and excitement." And with that, she continues creating her art for the entire world to enjoy.