Artist Statement 2012 / Insook Hwang



     In my works, my interest is in creating a form that resembles a living organism by combining small, repeating images that assemble into a larger more intriguing form. This approach employs some unique cloning and collage techniques, as well as a distinctive vocabulary. The distinctive characteristics of these works lie in the repetitive, playful combinations of cartoon-like symbols and marks. When creating forms digitally, I use each small image like a cell, repeating them but with slight variations in their form.


     The small and overlapping images and written texts in my pieces, not easily seen from a distance, work like a cryptic code and serve as contemporary talismans wishing people well being, balance and happiness.  In stickers, pillows and part of the animation, a portrait of me sitting like a multi armed Buddha inside ball like shapes humorously suggests my warm wishes for the world.  Symbols like hearts and stars and texts such as “hi” and “love” symbolize messages and feelings sent off into space for the people who are far away from each other. Stickers of different tones and textures are used to create an optical illusion of depth in the wall space.  The pillows applied strengthen the optical illusion as if the drawn or printed images were coming out of the virtual space into the actual one.


     Happy Nation (2012) and Moving Castle (2012), lenticular prints display the word “love” written in different languages (including Korean, English, French and German) that overlap each other in patterns.  In Happy Nation (2012), the abstract marks of two figures that appear to hold hands and dancing together symbolize the DNA of harmony, unity and the joy of humankind. The Imaginary creatures created by combining multiple images of monitors, curved pipes and tubes symbolize our contemporary, internet based society moving, affecting and evolving itself.


     Moving Castle (2012), a site specific wall installation that uses the distinctive architectural characteristics of the space (a round wall and very narrow passage way with limited (narrow) visibility between the corridor and wall) creates a three dimensional optical illusion with an anamorphic effect.  The representation of a net like structure changes and distorts itself if the viewer proceeds looking at the images.  The net itself symbolizes imaginary cells floating in the universe containing the accumulated memories, experience and the unconsciousness of human beings as a whole that lasts forever, shifting their forms and evolving themselves in the space.


     The techniques I’ve used to create all my works include the use of lenticuar prints, stencil, airbrushing, sticker making, digital cutter (for stickers), photography, animation, painting, drawing, sewing and collage.  The materials used are mylar, glitter film, printed paper, vinyl, tape, digital photo frame, acrylics and ink , Swarowski crystals and canvas.