pretty boys kill me

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Mother / Mother

Roselina Hung, Madonna of the Lilies, 36x36 in, Oil & linen on wood panel, 2016

Mother – Part 1

Sandro Botticelli, Madonna and Child with Eight Angels, Tempera on panel, 135 cm diameter, c.1478

2016 was a quiet art year for me with lots going on in life. The first half of the year started out normally, working on different paintings and exploring new themes, but things changed in late spring. I found myself thinking a lot about motherhood, and what it meant as an artist to also be a mother. It’s something that I’ve been thinking a lot about these past few years. I asked myself how I could explore this in my art, where I’ve often looked at female roles. Going back to my interest in themes and images repeated throughout art history, I was drawn to representations of the Madonna. Identifying her as the Virgin Mary was dependent on her being a mother or else her virginity would be of no importance. So who was this woman that was depicted in countless paintings with her baby if the baby was taken out of the picture.

Roselina Hung, Madonna of the Lilies (work in progress)
Roselina Hung, Madonna of the Lilies (work in progress)

And so I began playing with images of the Madonna with child, deleting everything except her face and shroud. I rearranged the separate parts to create a new composition. I played with textures where her halo should be and colour gradients and lines replaced golden rays of light.

While I was working on this painting and my brain was obsessed with these ideas, I learned that I was pregnant. And then it all made sense why this overwhelming feeling to work on this painting seemed to take over my mind. But it also meant that while I was planning a series of these paintings, my time in the studio changed. I had to reacquaint myself with the basics of oil painting, as I used techniques that were reliant on solvents, which were now forbidden to use. And my paintings took longer, and I had much less energy. This was also when I was preparing to leave for Salzburg. So my Madonna painting was only finished upon my return, later in the fall, once I was feeling better and able to spend more hours in the studio again. I’ve only created the one from a planned series, but I hope to revisit this in the future.

Roselina Hung, Madonna of the Lilies, 36x36 in, Oil & linen on wood panel, 2016
Roselina Hung, Madonna of the Lilies, Oil & linen on wood panel, 36 x 36 in, 2016

***

Mother – Part 2

Rosy at 6 Months (work in progress)
Rosy at 6 Months (work in progress)

In the past, I’ve tried to create one self-portrait annually. There’s something very cathartic about painting these self-portraits. They are challenging, as who else’s likeness am I most familiar with? With any feature a millimetre off, it can change the complete look of a face. But I also really enjoy creating self-portraits, as I feel like they are just for me without worrying about what the painting means, if someone would want to buy it, or where does it fit within my practice. Many times, these paintings have marked important events in my life, however small or large they may seem to the outside world. There is a significance there for me. Sometimes they are more about feelings I was having, or my psychological state during that year. And other times they mark actual events. But more often than not, they are a mix of all these things, and also a way for me to work out new ideas and themes for future works in the backgrounds or style that I’ve chosen for each specific painting.

With my growing belly, I realized that I did not have many photos of myself pregnant, and it was something that I wanted to remember. As a child, I remember looking at photos of my mom when she was pregnant with me and how bewildering it was to think that I was once inside her. And I hope to be able to share this painting with my child someday.

Roselina Hung, Rosy at 6 Months, Oil on wood panel, 6.5 x 12 in, 2016
Roselina Hung, Rosy at 6 Months, Oil on wood panel, 6.5 x 12 in, 2016

I knew I wanted to work with an odd sized wood panel, one that I could use to emphasize the feeling of constraint. As I was physically growing in size, I imagined the tight quarters of my belly, but I also felt like I was being physically, mentally and emotionally stretched to extremes that I had never known. As with all my paintings, I think a lot about composition and space within the frame of the painting. A lot can be conveyed through the intentional use of space.

I also wanted this painting to be a celebration, hence the brightly coloured background and exploding flowers for my spring baby. This was the first time that I worked on a self-portrait with the flat, graphic patterns of my other paintings.

Roselina Hung, Rosy at 6 Months (detail), Oil on wood panel, 6.5 x 12 in, 2016
Roselina Hung, Rosy at 6 Months (detail), Oil on wood panel, 6.5 x 12 in, 2016

I finished this painting just in time, before I take a few months off once my baby is born. So things may be a little quiet on the art front for a little while, but I’m hoping to get back into things by summer and be back in the studio and also working from home on some new projects. In the meantime, I will be exhibiting a couple of drawings from my pretty boys kill me series and a wallpaper installation in superyoung, a group exhibition curated by Zoë Chan at the Kamloops Art Gallery. The exhibition will run from April until July.

i still dream about you

Drawing cats
Drawing cats

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a recent influx of cat drawings pop up on my feed. I was working on a piece that will be printed in the upcoming Cat Issue of Sad Mag, a quar­terly mag­a­zine that cel­e­brates indepen­dent art and cul­ture in Vancouver.

And drawing more cats.
And drawing more cats.

The issue won’t be out until end of December, at the earliest, but I’m also releasing the image as an open edition print. The idea for this work actually started along the same lines as my pretty boys kill me series, while I was at Ox-Bow. I came across some patterned fabric and made a mock up using a scan and some digitally overlaid text.

My original study using found fabric.
My original study using found fabric.

This file sat on my computer desktop in a Work in Progress folder, tentatively titled “Cat Scan”. And it sat there on the back burner for a few years until the perfect opportunity to have it in Sad Mag came up. And so I began working on my version, using my own drawings. The image is a digital collage made up of my original pencil crayon drawings. I had an open call for friend’s photos of past pet cats.

i still dream about you (cats) - 2014. Archival Digital Print.
i still dream about you (cats) – 2014. Archival Digital Print.

i still dream about you (cats) is like my pretty boys kill me patterned text drawings, in that it is also like a love letter and deals with love and obsession, but between a pet owner and his/her cat. Speaking from experience, for cat owners (and probably any pet owner), after a pet passes away, every so often, it will show up in your dreams and there is a hint of sadness when you wake up. Sometimes I think about getting another cat, but then I think about the heartache of losing a pet. Someday….

And for anyone who hasn’t owned a cat before, well, the image can propagate the idea of the “crazy cat lady”.

I’m taking orders for this print, which is a signed open edition archival digital print. It is an 8″x10″ image on 8.5″x11″ inch archival watercolour paper. The print is $50 (plus shipping) and for all orders until the end of the year, I will be donating $5 from each print to the BC SPCA.

To order, you can e-mail me or place your order on the Editions page of my website. Delivery will be around December 20th. Also, Sad Mag will be selling these prints at the upcoming Blim Markets: November 23 at the Heritage Hall and December 20 at Fox Cabaret.

Pretty Boys in Calgary

RoselinaHung-boxed
A stack of Phantasmagoria drawings ready for Calgary

Next week, I will be in Calgary for the opening of my exhibition with Stacy Lundeen at The New Gallery. The show, titled Pretty Boys, You Owe Me, is a two-person show that includes works by both Stacy and me dealing with text, self-deprecation and lust. I feel like there is also a bit of humour running through both of our works…this will be my first two-person show and it’s kind of interesting, two artists working separately and then being shown alongside each other. A dialogue will take place between the works, no doubt, and perhaps one artist’s work will colour the reading of another’s, and vice versa, but I think this is a good thing. I’m looking forward to the hanging of this exhibition, as I think it will be a fun exercise in itself.

Packing and shipping a show is way more work than expected
Packing and shipping a show is way more work than expected

There’s a funny story about this series of drawings, pretty boys kill me. When I was first starting the work, I applied for a grant (I won’t name which one), and in my application I had stated that I wanted to show this body of work in some artist-run centres in Canada. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive the grant but when I called for feedback, the only quotes written down from the jury were, “I don’t like the work” and “No artist-run centre will ever show this work”. Not the most positive or helpful feedback, but it didn’t deter me from continuing with this project. And I’m happy to say that the series of drawings, which includes some new Phantasmagoria drawings, will be shown starting next Friday at the artist-run centre, The New Gallery.

Phantasmagoria 8 (detail), Coloured pencil on paper, 11 x 14 in, 2014
Phantasmagoria 8 (detail), Coloured pencil on paper, 11 x 14 in, 2014

This is the first time I will be showing in Calgary, which I’m excited about as I’ve heard good things about the art scene there and am looking forward to having a look around, but it’s also the first time that a body of my work has traveled for a show. The New Gallery has been great to work with. They also commission writers to write a text in conjunction with their exhibitions. Beauty and Repetition, by Karly Morimer, can be read on The New Gallery’s website.

RoselinaHung-Phantasmagoria6
Phantasmagoria 6 (detail), Coloured pencil on paper, 11 x 14 in, 2014

Pretty Boys, You Owe Me opens October 17 at 8 pm at The New Gallery in Calgary. The show runs until November 15. If you are in Calgary, I hope to see you next Friday at the opening night.

Love is Dead in LA

I’ve been busy with my solo exhibition here in Vancouver, but I also have a little show coming up in Los Angeles this week.

I will be showing a new limited edition print from my pretty boys kill me series as part of a group exhibition in Los Angeles. Love is Dead (…and You Killed It) features over a dozen artists exploring romance in the digital age, looking at how we have turned to technology in our desire to connect with others.

pretty boys kill me, limited edition ink jet print, 16 x 20 inches, 2014
pretty boys kill me, limited edition ink jet print, 16 x 20 inches, 2014

The show is on for one night only, and I’ll be in attendance, so if you are in LA, come say hi! It will be held at:

Space Station Studios
950 North Cahuenga Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

Thursday, June 26, 2014
7:30 – 10:30 pm

This limited edition print is also for sale. If you are interested, please contact me.

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