January 20 - February 14, 2012
Reception: Tuesday, January 28, 6-8pm
Visual Bites: Thursday, February 8, 2:30pm
(Artist Talks followed by a discussion with Master of Art Conservation students on conservation techniques and issues)
Janghan Hong, Civic, (detail on left), acrylic, 2011
How would you interpret a social environment that is constantly changing? It is too early to make a value judgement, but I can still take an ambiguous stance on depicting contemporary events, and then allow individual viewers to bring in their own context to the art. In fact, this is what editorial illustrations do. Newspapers offer factual and unbiased account of the changes in the society, limiting the social commentary and analysis to the editorials section which serves a forum for the editors to make value judgements on topical issues. The illustration accompanying the editorial straddle the fine line between fact and argument, often being satirical enough to align with the contradictory opinions the reader of the newspaper might have. I believe that this ambiguity captures the essence of the chaos and uncertainties of living in the modern world.
The work consists of multiple canvases. They are designed in a ratio (1:√2) that allows doubling or halving the dimensions of the canvases yet still fit perfectly in a neat block that simulates page layouts of a newspaper. This property also allows for modular rearrangement of the pieces, changing the visual flow and the context of the images shown. All the pieces have a collage layer, which consist of photos and headlines from the newspapers which are all acrylic transferred onto the canvas. They are presented as illuminated pockets of information against the black background. The illustrations are painted on top layer over the newspaper collage. The illustration provides the commentary and the collage provides the context. The relationship between the context and the commentary might seem arbitrary, but they are not meant to be. They simply have an ambiguous conclusion, prompting the viewer to connect the visual elements of a piece and a social change at hand.
Janghan Hong is a 4th year BFA student, majoring in painting. He first became interested in art and design through book illustrations. This has influenced the incorporation of narrative aspects in his own imagery. He currently works as the editorial illustrator for the Queen’s Journal.
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