Ran Hwang is a sculptural artist primarily known for her mixed-media work
with buttons, beads, pins, and thread. Born in Pusan, South Korea, in 1960, currently based in Brooklyn. Hwang was originally trained as a realist painter,but began using her signature buttons in the aftermath of the events of September. The construction of her sculptures is laborious, as the artist hammers thousands of nails into the wall in order to create a complex work. Her motifs often explore classical Asian subjects, such as trees, temples, birds, flowers, and Buddhas.She describes her process as meditative, through which the repetition of the hammering evokes a Zen-like discipline.
ARTIST STATEMENT: My works fall into two groups. In the first group, pins hold buttons that remain free to move between the surface of the wall and the pinhead. The constricted movement of the button, an everyday object as numerous and “ordinary” as people, as it is caught within the confines imposed by the wall and the pinhead, suggests the tension between the human desire for freedom and the limitations imposed by society.
In the second group, countless pins are connected by yards of thread that create a negative space from the resultant image. The threads suggest the complex relations amongst human society while the negative space defined by the thousands of thread lines represents a void in the meaning of personal existence.