WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Artist Overlaps Opposites to Create a New Perspective

Feb 9, 2021

The Western Illinois University Art Gallery is featuring the work of Ming Ying Hong, who likes to push together contrasting images in her drawings.

“There are elements that look masculine and elements that look feminine, ugly and beautiful. They’re not collaged together but it definitely references the process of collage,” Hong said about her drawings. She said that putting together contrasting images is a way of giving them all equal value.

“By combining all of these elements together, it makes it seem like the body can hold a multitude of identities and experiences.” 

Hong said the works also overlap artistic styles -- for example, many include elements of both surrealism and hyperrealism.

The exhibit, Disjunction and Other Works, remains on display at Western’s art gallery through February 19. Admission is free. The hours are:

  • Monday through Friday: 9:00 a.m. - Noon; 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The gallery is closed on university holidays.

Hong grew up in Los Angeles and said she has always loved drawing. She now teaches at Mississippi State University. She said her influences include artists Jenny Saville and Marlene Dumas. She said the work of film director David Cronenberg has also influenced her ideas and visuals. 

The exhibit at Western is the culmination of five years of work for Hong. She next plans to make a series of abstractions that are both sculptural and have drawn elements, and/or she might investigate the dissonance between someone who identifies as American and someone who identifies as Chinese.

“Right now I don’t have a clear sense of belonging because the Chinese community would know I am a foreigner, and then being in Mississippi I also feel a little bit out of my element and also a little bit like a foreigner,” said Hong.

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