If you stop by Jonathan LeVine Gallery to see the latest Martin Wittfooth exhibit, be sure to also see If You Lived Here I’d Be Home By Now, a series of new works by Los Angeles-based artist Seonna Hong, her debut solo exhibition, which is running concurrently in the rear gallery. After completing a series of self-reflective work throughout her career, Hong has discovered a way to look forward, with this collection of paintings that signify her return to the New York art world after eight years. Of course, I had an immediate attraction to all of the paintings in this exhibit, because there is so much pink in them!
L: Drought Tolerance. R: That’s Us/Wild Combination
Hong is a multi-disciplinary talent with international recognition as a painter, illustrator and animation production artist. Notable accolades include an Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Production Design for her work on the animated series My Life as a Teenage Robot. She is also the author of Animus, a critically acclaimed moving picture book. And it is worth mentioning that, in 2008, she was chosen by Takashi Murakami as the first American to have a solo exhibition at the world renowned KaiKai Kiki Gallery in Japan.
Where Hong’s previous works focused on reckoning, forgiveness and ‘wishing I said all the things I didn’t say,’ If You Lived Here I’d Be Home by Now explores the possibilities of what’s to come. In the artist’s words, “My once melancholic and somber pieces have given way to a new kind of hopefulness.”
Continuing to move away from compositions of fully formed ideas, Hong’s process is spontaneous yet deliberate. Using paint swirls and scrapes to define space and texture, her signature characterization of girls and animals remains, but they exist less as protagonists and more as a lens to view the expressionistic landscapes that they occupy.
In If You Lived Here, I’d Be Home by Now the artist works with a visual and literal vocabulary that takes cues from her personal life. By incorporating text and using books as her canvas for a selection of works, Hong examines the universal themes of exploration and reconnecting with our sense of childlike wonder.
Seonna Hong’s If You Lived Here I’d Be Home By Now will be on Exhibit through November 14th, 2015 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.