Seonna Hong is a southern California based artist whose work I’ve admired for a long time. Hong paints narrative scenes of children and animals in the natural world. Bears, birds, elk, children wander and play amid the trees, rivers, and encroaching urban structures. Hong’s works are disarming, filled with striking metaphors. Representing innocence and vulnerability, children and animals are juxtaposed with the painful realities of life symbolized by fences, power lines, and uncontrollable moving water.
In a recent interview with Arrested Motion, when asked about her recent series done on paint chips from hardware stores, Hong said, “I had an interesting conversation with a studio mate of mine about what it meant to be creative… and that resourcefulness could be a large part of that. A really fun part. And how ordinary things could be transformed into something entirely different just in seeing it that way or putting it into another context. My daughter for example, sees faces in cars. She makes such a game out of it that she asked to drive around a parking garage “for fun.” So I started looking around my house and studio and wanted to see what looked fun to paint on. I had been collecting paint chips from hardware stores for years… because they looked like candy in a candy store… and decided to start putting them to use… other than as a sample paint color for a wall in your home.”