Making Paper: Hong Hong by Adya Zecha

“The process is a performance, a back and forth between creation and destruction”

As an artist, I have never considered paper, the medium on which I usually paint on, as the ‘art’. However Hong Hong’s process of intricately layering fibers, of various textures and colours and hand weaving the material into paper, is a stunning representation of art. Her work explores more than just a fixed landscape but instead, an understanding of change in colours and light as well as of the feelings and mood behind a certain setting. She also takes inspiration from “things that might shape a person’s experiences of the land” Hong combines Tibetan and Japanese traditional forms of paper making, however she does so in a contemporary style, in terms of process and scale. Her ‘mobile paper studio’ gives her the freedom to travel and create, taking inspiration from different places, landscapes and cultures. I find her creation vs. destruction process fascinating because I mainly think of art as something created, rarely something that has been destructed. Hong also strays from the traditional use of paper in paper making and incorporates organic materials like leaves and branches (Void, 2016) and even plastic in her next project of yearlong site specific installations, Everlasting Ephemera.

Article: http://magazine.art21.org/2017/09/13/making-paper-hong-hongs-performative-process/#.WbmF5bYrKt8

Interview: http://www.breakfastxlunchxdinner.com/blog/2015/5/7/artist-profile-hong-hong

3 Replies to “Making Paper: Hong Hong by Adya Zecha”

  1. Thanks for sharing, Adya. I really enjoyed reading this article and exploring Hong Hong’s work in depth.

    I agree with you that it is interesting that Hong’s work itself is paper, a substance often used as a base, hidden behind the ‘actual’ work. In some ways, I find this similar to the ways some expressionist painters wanted to show the paint as the main attraction, something that is normally just part of the greater art piece. That being said, I do think Hong’s use of color (like in All the Light in a Vivid Dream) echoes the color use of abstract painters. I think that Hong’s education in painting shines through, despite her choice of new and unforgiving material.

    I also think that it is important to realize how large the pieces are that Hong produces. These aren’t just pieces of paper, they are massive sheets that rear over the viewer. I think it would be very impressive to see these works in person and that without doing so you would not be able to truly get a sense of their grandure.

  2. After reading Adya’s comments on the article, I specifically like how she stated in the beginning that “art” does not have to be conformed to paint on a canvas as we have discussed in class. Additionally, I think its fascinating how Hong Hong uses layered fibers to create her art. This makes me curious about my own art that I can create and using different elements and material to create a different type of work.

  3. I feel the same way about this. It’s amazing to think of the paper itself as art rather than a vehicle for carrying the artwork. These pieces are beautiful and look like horizons as the author mentioned in the article. I think her ability to move around in her mobile studio really helps the works, letting them take on different designs from nature from all over, rather than just one place.

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