Kang Yo-bae is one of the first generation artists of Minjung art and a member of the group ‘Reality and Utterance’ since early 1980s. He is highly regarded for suggesting new aspects of realism and historical subject in painting. The artist represents natural landscape of Jeju Island not as subjects with an objective view, but as an active subject that looks at innate changes of itself. Kang has once stated that the landscapes of life are like warm day, peaceful day, stormy day or rainy day, where each day should have its own unique emotions.
In his works, the nature of the isles carries and represents the very beginning of vitality and life. Amongst various elements of Jeju Island’s fickle climate, Kang concentrates on the wind. Changes in the sky by the wind’s movement, swaying currents of the ocean, and broken waves against the cliffs portray the islanders whom endured hardships of history and life sufferings.
Kang earned his Bachelor and Master degree in Fine Art at Seoul National University. Since his first solo exhibition, Angle (1976, Daeho Coffee Shop), he presented in numerous solo exhibition including, The History of April 3rd Jeju Uprising (Hakgojae Gallery, 1992), Camellias Fall: Touring Exhibition in Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of April 3rd Jeju Uprising (1998), Mt. Geumgang (Art Space Seoul, 1999), Weathering (Jeju Stone Park, 2011) and many more. Kang was awarded Lee Joong-Seup Art Prize in 2015 and a Minjok Art Prize from Korean Artists Association on December 18, 1998.