I just discovered the marvelous work of Ran Hwang while browsing through images from the 2012: VIP Art Fair 2.0 (the Internet’s first major art bazaar). Hwang is best known for creating large sculptural murals of birds, trees and chandeliers. Beginning by projecting an image on the wall, the artist traces its contours. She then fills in the space with common objects like buttons or crystals stuck on long straight pins. To achieve the look of dense foliage or clusters of feathers, thousands of pins are used.
The intriguing quality of the work lies in details like how the buttons are still able to move once pinned to the wall. According to Hwang, buttons are “as common and ordinary as human beings” and, although pinned, the fact that they can still move “suggest the genetic human tendency to be irresolute.” Also mesmerizing is the way the clusters of buttons deliberately trail off, falling in clumps on the floor, as if the image is decomposing before our eyes.
The New York based artist says, “By hammering thousands of pins onto a wall, I discover significance of existence. Like the monks practicing Zen facing the wall, my work is a form of performance that leads to finding oneself.”