My solo exhibition, pretty boys kill me, opens tonight at Gallery FUKAI, and I’m very excited about showing my new work. If you are in Vancouver, please drop by and say hello tonight or during the run of the exhibition, which is up until April 27th. Some of the work is already previewed on my website, but I also have some smaller drawings (a sneak peek seen above) and a wallpaper installation that I haven’t yet put online so you’ll have to come down in person to see them in the gallery.
If you are interested in the ideas behind this body of work, you can read my exhibition statement below. I’ll post more pictures of the exhibition in the upcoming week or two.
pretty boys kill me is a solo exhibition of drawings by Roselina Hung. Her work continues to reference both public and personal histories through new drawings that address the subtle distinction between desire and obsession, with soft-featured young men serving as muse.
Poster-sized drawings of many pretty boy faces, arranged in pattern, present an aesthetic ideal of beauty. Each face was meticulously drawn one at a time, only then were sections erased to reveal snippets from text messages sent and received during Hung’s romantic relationships. While formulaic repetition provides the drawings a mechanical tone, their subject, their dimensions, and the use of coloured-pencil are reminiscent of the lovesick teenager. A series of smaller portraits blend multiple faces to create monstrous amalgams – desire’s derangement of the senses. One gallery wall is covered with wallpaper Hung created that was inspired by Charles Dana Gibson’s ‘Design for Wallpaper – Suitable for a Bachelor Apartment’ (1902). Gibson’s satirical interpretation of romantic longing and female beauty is here replaced by an earnest look at male beauty as the object of affection.
Process and object are both important in this exhibition. At the outset, Hung was interested in whether her drawing capability and the quality of the work would suffer because of the intense repetition. The show’s ambiguous title, pretty boys kill me, gestures at the project’s and Hung’s masochism. Having drawn about 300 faces, Hung injured her right hand and was unable to draw for several months. To be sure, pretty boys kill me speaks to the deleterious effect of obsessive desire. Love becomes an inoperable illness that cannot be removed without destroying the patient. The drawings touch equally, however, on the enabling aspect of obsession, its ability to focus the senses and intellect in pursuit of its object.