Ran Hwang knows how to call attention to her works through amazing colors, storytelling abilities and monk like patience. She spends intensive hours of work pinning down and putting together simple elements such as pins and buttons. The end results speak of magic worlds from memory lane and thoughtful journeys of self discovery. Experience Ran Hwang's works live and you will understand her soulful quest for meaning.
Ran, your works capture the viewers’ attention at first sight and invite our imagination to run wild. What are some of the most important messages you wish to convey through your works?
I am interested in the meanings or aspects of the ‘visible’ and the ‘invisible’ - splendor and honesty in what we see; danger and dishonesty in what we can’t see. I convey the preciousness of the transient moment by creating an iconic image that represents the phenomenon or moment unwittingly happening in our lives.
Growing up in Korea, based in NY, connecting with the world through your art, how awesome does it feel to be Ran Hwang?
I always appreciate my cultural background of western and eastern realities that I have lived. In that way, my creative motivation has been so fruitful also reflective of the cultural mixture or conflicts in both cultures.
What are some major moments that paved your way and sealed your fate as an artist now with a long list of achievements and bright future ahead?
I landed in New York about 20 years ago. My fate of becoming an artist was sealed the moment I was born, in Asia. By witnessing the 9/11 tragedy, I became aware of the transience nature of life, creation & extinction and visibility & invisibility. These make up the central concept of my practice, moreover I have been exploring them in depth through executing various types of projects.
Any connections to the Fashion World? What would you make of an invitation from a major fashion house?
I had a solo exhibition made possible by the greatest support of an art foundation ran by a prestigious fashion brand, Hermès. I am always interested in collaborations with fashion. One of the current fashion trends makes use of printed fabrics. However I am more interested in creating a 3- dimensional collage and transforming it into a fashion format.
Are you more concerned about keeping things in perspective, connecting the dots, or dreaming of something more…
I aim to present perfect visuals when I am making a piece. However I mostly aspire to deliver meaning behind my images. Freedom and restrictions coexist in our lives. They are impartible and inseparable in life. I dream of the freedom for the restrained human.
Can you share with us the story behind Becoming Again?
Becoming Again… My thoughts are centered on life, which is always blooming and fading. Extinction is not a far fetched thought. We must engage with each other and surpassing generational lines. This is a well-known pattern and nature's law. I believe that past life is connected with the fate of present circumstances. Everything, therefore, is in a state of becoming or developing again.
Especially for this exhibition at the Third Floor Gallery-Hermes Singapore, I juxtaposed the opposite aspects of decorative splendor and meditative quietness by composing the falling blossoms implying transience through the imaginary of a phoenix. The beauty resulting from the simple labor of endless hammering is like the state of nirvana reached through the constant meditation of a monk.
The blossoms made out of buttons were created onto the Plexiglas panels and colorful phoenix birds created with buttons on Plexiglas disks were hung from the ceiling. The moving image of a hovering phoenix was projected onto the blossoms landscape.
What are Ran Hwang’s Secret Obsessions from the Art World?
When hammering small components onto a wall or panels as I am only facing the space in front of me. I am always obsessed by meditation. This is a journey of searching for my true self.