Artist Statement

Photo courtesy of the artist

Borrowing materials from the fashion industry, I create large iconic figures such as a Buddha with a cherry blossom growing from its head. In other works, a traditional vase simultaneously connotes both fullness and emptiness and a wingless bird trapped in a prison cell can no longer fly. My motifs of blossoms, birds, and palaces come from my preoccupation with the nature of cyclical life, non-visibility and the beauty of transient moment. The process of producing these works is time consuming and repetitive, requiring intense manual labor performed in a meditative state, hammering thousands of pins into a wall, not unlike a monk engaged in Zen practice. Pins hold buttons that remain free to move between the surface of the wall and the pinhead. The constricted movement of the button, an everyday object as numerous and ordinary as people, as it is caught within the confines imposed by the wall and the pinhead, suggests tension between the human desire for freedom and the limitations imposed by society. In the second group, threads suggest the complex relations amongst human society while the negative space defined by the thousands of thread lines represents a void in the meaning of personal existence. My most recent body of work is inspired by refugee children and my dream to give back.

 

Ran Hwang at work

Ran Hwang at work