Project Room


An Exhibition of Work by Hong Hong

Curated by: Yell Freeman

March 20—April 25, 2020

Hong Hong, Spell for Tip of an Autumn Hair as Boat and Abode (detail), 2020. Mulberry bark, sun, dust, water, hair, fiber-reactive dyes, repurposed paper, 91 (H) × 94 (W) × 65 (D) inches.

Viewable from the street while we are closed to the public to prevent the spread of Covid-19, this contemplative installation by Hong Hong was made over the course of the past year in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Though geographically diverse in location and environmental response, each piece is created through a similar process incorporating methods dating back to papermaking’s inception, beginning with the inner bark of a mulberry tree. After being harvested, soaked, cooked, hand beaten, combined with recycled construction paper, dyed, poured and dried, the resulting works are cut, pinned and arranged in dialogue with one another. 

Hong describes the creation of each piece as an intimate encounter between bodies: the soil as a body, the sun as a body, the mulberry tree as a body, and the artist as a body. It is within the physicality of the papermaking process that these bodies intersect; friends and family, flesh and blood, bone and marrow. Through these methods of fabrication, deconstruction and re-assembly, they form tender artifacts of process.

Hong Hong is an interdisciplinary artist who works at the intersection between monumental paper-making and performative painting. Born in China, she immigrated, with her mother, to North Dakota when she was ten years old. Hong earned her MFA in Painting and Drawing from University of Georgia in 2014 and her BFA from the State University of New York at Potsdam in 2011. Hong has traveled to different locations across the United States to make site-responsive, large-scale paperworks since 2015. In this nomadic practice, traditional processes of Tibetan and Japanese papermaking coalesced with feminist rituals and fluxist performances. These journeys have led her to an alkali lake, a grove of mulberries in the Rust Belt, forests, street corners, the Pacific Ocean, and strangers’ backyards. Her projects have been exhibited at Madison Museum of Fine Art, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, New Mexico History Museum, Real Art Ways, and Georgia Museum of Art. Hong is the recipient of grants, fellowships, and commissions from MacDowell, Yaddo, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Vermont Studio Center, Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University, Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, Connecticut Office for the Arts, and the Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation. Hong is currently the National Endowment for the Arts Apprentice at the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory & Educational Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio.

The exhibition catalogue features an introduction by curator Yell Freeman.

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