Alternative Dimension

Singaporean artist Maureen Hoon is showing her latest works at Project: ARTspace, a gallery on lower 5th Avenue, NYC. Titled “Alternative Dimension,” the show displays Hoon’s sustained explorations into perception, boundaries, and dislocations. She has always been interested in the line between painting and sculpture. Of particular note is a new installation work inspired by the recent Syrian refugee crisis. Hoon will speak with art critic Lilly Wei about her new works on Monday, March 14, 6:30 – 8:30 at the gallery. The show is curated by Michelle Y Loh and features works by Lisa Corinne Davis as well.

 

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Maureen Hoon, “Radiance,” 40 inches by 40 inches, Mixed Media, 2015

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Maureen Hoon, “Hope Embraced,” 24 inches by 18 inches, Mixed Media, 2015

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Maureen Hoon, “In Search of Lost Time,” 40 inches by 80 inches, Mixed Media, 2015

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Maureen Hoon, “Sehnsucht / 心驰神往,” 8 ft by 6 ft, Installation, Mixed Media, 2016

 

Artist’s statement:

Sehnsucht is a German word with no English equivalent. It means the “longing for something.” It is difficult to translate adequately. C.S.Lewis defined it as the “inconsolable longing” in the human heart for “we know not what.” 心驰神往 is a Chinese idiom that describes longing. The title of this work is in German and Chinese to evoke emotions that cannot be completely translated or understood fully.

Identity can be often linked to a memory of physical geography, or a sense of one’s environment. When removed from one’s place of origin, a sense of dislocation and rootlessness can form. It also marks the formation of new psychic spaces for myth creation and for new beginnings. Art becomes the platform that functions as the symbolic stage for our lives, a temporal shelter for comfort, and a space for urban myth-making.

The most elemental building blocks of life are triangular. Inspired by the geometrical properties and symbolism of this form, this sculptural installation is created using metal, cardboard, styrofoam, and other industrial materials to construct a hybrid triangular structure – one that recalls a shelter akin to a safe space, the sensibilities of the displaced, the physical awareness of space and time, the sense of loss and longing, and the subsequent myth-making for a new beginning. People can step into and interact with the work, and also interact with each other.

Recently, the personal stories of the Syrian crisis and refugees seared into my imagination. I feel a deep connection to those who had to start from afresh, be it forced or voluntary. This installation serves as a tribute to the displaced Syrians, all my friends who crossed oceans to make New York City their new home, and the undocumented who toil silently in this vast land – this work is dedicated to all those who have ever experienced the longing for what they left behind and dream of, and for finding the courage to create new myths, new identities, and new beginnings.

 

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Maureen Hoon. Painter. Metal Welder. Writer. Born in 1983 in Singapore. Works and lives in New York City. Master’s from Pratt Institute, New York. Bachelor’s from National University of Singapore. Independent development, studied with Bruce Dorfman and Joseph Peller at the Art Students’ League of New York in 2011 – 2012. http://www.maureenhoon.com/

 

About Jee Leong Koh

My book of poems Steep Tea (Carcanet) was named a Best Book of 2015 by UK's Financial Times, and a Finalist by Lambda Literary. I also wrote three other books of poems and a book of zuihitsu. My work has been shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize, and translated into Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian and Latvian. Originally from Singapore, I live in New York City, where I edit the arts blog Singapore Poetry, and run the Second Saturdays Reading Series and the Singapore Literature Festival in NYC.

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