My work often draws from the estranged relationships we have with the parts of ourselves that exist in paradox with each other. The elements in my paintings feel like actors in a play, responding to a director, an unreliable narrator, who loathes rehearsals. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve become hyper aware of my longing for an idealized idea of home or belonging; many of the works made since then reflect a sort of amalgamation of lived experience, memory and fantasy. A half eaten Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich alludes to love half-realized, while dinosaur feet slippers feel like a somber reminder of a far off extinction event. In the end, we’re left with the record of something that may not reflect factual history, but perhaps a genuine emotional history.
Ray Hwang’s featured work is on loan courtesy of LaiSun Keane Gallery, Boston.