Tag Archives: Visual Artist

Artist HuiMeng Wang shares vulnerability and understanding of the world with worldwide audiences

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Visual artist HuiMeng Wang

Born and raised in Inner Mongolia of China, HuiMeng Wang always had a passion for art. Her mother always had a deep appreciation in literature and the Chinese Opera. Growing up, she read nothing but fictions, and would always fantasize about bringing the narratives to reality, in one way or another. Despite this passion from an early age, Wang did not initially feel she was ready to explore being an artist. That patience is what sets her apart from so many. She studied science and engineering, travelled the world, experienced other cultures and immersed herself in life. It was during her travels that she realized she was ready to be an artist.

“I felt I had enough things to talk about and I felt this strong desire to talk about them. A diverse educational and cultural background has made me immensely conscious about the changes and formation of personal identities, during a socio- geographical, professional and/or cultural transition,” said Wang.

During her travels, Wang conducted a 4000-mile road trip in Tibet, photographing its landscape. She created a collection of the photographs, titled The Isolation Book, and it is one of her most remarkable pieces. On a plateau in the northeastern Himalaya, at an average elevation of 16,000 feet, Tibet enjoys great natural remoteness. Its extraordinary physical isolation is also reinforced by political complexity, Wang says. She drove through out the vastness of Tibet week after week, as an observer, as well as a bearer of the great isolation and loneliness.

“People’s state of mind can heavily change the visual perception of a landscape or cityscape. And in that sense, The Isolation Book is a metaphor of my personal struggles through isolation. When one is in isolation, or sometimes self-seclusion, the eagerness of engaging with the outside world always comes hand in hand with the resistance. Such conflict creates great intangible tension, which overrides the reality sometimes, and urgently needs to be described in a form of emotional resonance,” Wang described.

Wang’s initial interest in the project was to truly understand isolation. From the time she was a child, she always has felt more comfortable by herself than when surrounded by others, so she wanted to understand what it was to be truly alone.

“I wished I could understand the nature of isolation better, how it exerts influence and disguises itself. And that is why I picked up a camera initially,” said Wang.

Wang’s photography is extremely impactful for all those who see it. It is perfectly framed, shot, and edited, and with The Isolation Book, each picture is its own essay, worth far more than the usual “1000 words” mantra.

“HuiMeng is a natural photographer capable of composing visual poetry from any scene. Her intellect is stunning. her insight is incisive and her sensitivity is sublime. she is complex and profoundly complex. She is a dream to work with,” said Lonnie Graham, who has worked alongside Wang on various photography projects. “Her uncanny ability to understand a situation and interpret it makes her outstanding. This is what she does with her image making, so that as an installation artist her concepts become dimensional.”

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HuiMeng Wang in Fire Green as Grass

Many around the world know Wang for her outstanding artistic abilities. They know her celebrated work, and the exceptional understanding she possesses of her craft. She is more than just an artist, she is a creator and a storyteller. Just last year, she dined by herself on a suspended table for one hour. While trying to cut and eat a 16oz steak, she had to carefully maintain the balance of the table, and put out the fire which the flowers constantly caught from the candles. Titled Fire Green as Grass, the piece interprets the mental state of an immigrant, displaced and isolated often, for whom conducting daily activities becomes a struggle in itself.

“The title came from Dylan Thomas’s poem Fern Hill. I lived in a place that’s also called Fern Hill in New Zealand for a while. It was the most surreal and beautiful place, but I was also incredibly alone,” said Wang.

Wang normally acts more as a director in her pieces than performer. However she felt the need to perform herself for this piece to truly convey the message.

“I thought I’d be embarrassed to perform in front of the audience. But when I did, even though there were a lot of people watching and the flowers were constantly on fire, I felt peaceful. I also felt like I was saying the things I wanted to say,” Wang described.

Wang’s vulnerability in Fire Green as Grass captivated audiences and critics alike. A fellow artist and friend, Jeremy Morgan, says that Wang has an ability to do this with every project she takes on, whether it be a video, photograph, or exhibition.

“Our conversations have always been a meaningful, creative journey, metaphysically moving from one space to another. HuiMeng has a luminous mind, and is self- possessed but without arrogance. Her generosity and original spirit permeate all of her interactions with people around her. In her performance and filmic work, she displays a poetic, philosophic and socio-political sensibility that is noteworthy wherein beauty, elegance and poignancy are perfectly balanced with precision, focused with intelligence and humanity. She is in every sense a creative being, an artist who is both unique and a powerful presence,” said Morgan.

With such a commitment to her craft and respect around the world for what she does, it is obvious to all that sees her work as to why Wang is considered one of China’s best recent visual artists. Not many can achieve what she has, and she still has so much left still to show the world. However, she does have advice for those looking to follow in her footsteps.

“It sounds silly, but my advice is make absolutely sure that you really want to be an artist before you commit. You don’t want to be an artist because of flexible schedules or some certain lifestyle or things like that. You want to be an artist because you cannot imagine yourself doing anything else. You want art to be the center of your life,” she said. “Also, some wise man said: make work, faster. That is my second piece of advice. Always make work, don’t pause for too long.”

UK Artist Katie Bright’s “Pre-Love Past Loves”Lights Up New York’s Melrose Ballroom

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Katie Bright in one of her hand made wolf garments in “Showgirls” shot by Kaliisa Conlon

 

There is an “art” that comes with fashion, be it style or design, which is why the transition from fashion to art was a smooth one for creative mastermind and performer Katie Bright, also known by her artist name, Miss BrightSide. The extraordinary artist recently held a runway performance exhibiting her art pieces at New York’s Melrose Ballroom entitled “Pre-loved Past Loves.”

The show consisted of 7 models, starring Miss Brightside herself, all dolled up and sporting unique dresses each constructed with various soft, plush fur-like, wolf mask designs, all hand sewn and crafted by the artist. Each unique mask represents Miss Brightside’s previous lovers and conveys her love for fantasy, play and storytelling.

The British born, 36 year old artist originally graduated with a B.A. in Fashion, and designed for major Italian fashion brand United Colors of Benetton, as well as celebrated Australian fashion designer Akira Isogawa, whose fashion designs are displayed at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum.

“Over the years most of the fashion collections I have created have been transmuted from work seen in galleries. Whether it was a colour palette from a painting or clothing informed by a sculpture,” says Bright regarding her designs, which were inspired by other art works.

Bright’s fixation and zeal for art led to her evolution as a visual artist and performer. In 2012, she decided to put together her first solo exhibit “My Fairytale Perspective on Love” with aMBUSH gallery, which was a sensation with over 1,000 supporters. Bright’s phenomenal success confirmed her footprint in the art world and allowed her to pursue her Masters in Fine Art at the esteemed Central Saint Martins in London. The renowned art and design school is known for such distinguished alumni as designer and “Project Runway” judge Zac Posen, singer -songwriter PJ Harvey, rapper MIA, artist Lee Wagstaff, and the illustrious designer Alexander McQueen.

Reminiscent of prominent artists such as Andy Warhol and Banksy, Brightside utilizes iconography and visual imagery to express her message in her art work. She says, “I would describe myself as a performance and installation artist interested in iconography, Hollywood, fairytales and feminine representation.”

However, for Brightside, it’s the subject matter of scopophilia (the pleasure or love of looking) that is near and dear to her heart as scopophilia is the driving force behind most of her art pieces, with the female, in this case iconic Disney characters such as Minnie Mouse, Aerial the mermaid, and Jessica Rabbit, as the objects of desire that are being gazed upon.

Throughout her first exhibit, Brightside used a screen printing technique, applying her prints onto a mirror, to reflect her enchanted, fairytale theme. The artist’s explanation was that, “I would hope the audience could entertain the position of a voyeur or scopophiliac. There is also the view that through my journey the observer could interpret their position of being a woman.”

The visual artist continues to play with iconic imagery and the topic of scopophilia by pushing the subject to new boundaries as Miss Brightside opened her latest New York art performance by coming out to the classic song “I Want to Be Loved by You” by Marilyn Monroe (from the Oscar nominated picture Some Like It Hot), wearing a white wedding dress, along with a blonde short wig, to personify the Hollywood legend.

Check out the live performance below:

“I believe Marilyn Monroe developed a formula. Famous for the bleach blonde hair, Nike ‘swoosh’ eyebrows, a full red lip pout and that iconic mole. Monroe’s ‘perfecting oneself’ beauty regime has been reproduced over the decades; whether blonde or brunette, we all accentuate what God gave us, and for some, to the point of becoming unrecognizable to our own mothers, ” says Bright, who intends to develop a full series of work on the voluptuous icon.

Aside from taking the art world by storm, Miss Brightside also has her designs set to premier this summer at the Surftides Lincoln City Hotel in Oregon, and at Tart Restaurant and Farmer’s Daughter Hotel in Los Angeles. She’s also currently organizing her third art exhibit entitled “Preloved II,” and if her show is anything like her first exhibit Miss Brightside will be sure to make room for new art, and fashion, enthusiasts alike.