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Emerging Artist: Jessica So Ren Tang

For awhile I have been obsessed with Jessica So Ren Tang’s work and was itching to feature her art on the blog!

Jessica earned a Bachelor of Art in Studio Art from Mills College in Oakland, CA. She currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA.

Jessica works with embroidery as her medium. Her work is based on the Asian American identity and the idea of being too much or not enough of either Asian or American. She creates objects which negate themselves through their materials. While her figures feature Asian embroidery designs upon the skin which conceal the identity of the woman to reach a broader spectrum of all Asian women.

The color choice of thread is constantly high chroma and exciting. The embroidery itself is eye catching, but the color enhances their effect on the viewer.

The objects feature Asian noodle cups, classic Asian china (plates, cups etc.), and other objects embroidered after the literal object. This is where Jessica refers to Asian American objects of which appear to be the literal, but are a rejection of what they are by being constructed of a totally different material.

Looking at Jessica’s figures, we are not just seeing an anonymous woman with a classic Asian embroidery, but posed in intimate moments. Each woman is in a state of undress or undressing. It is as if she is stripping away her individual identity to show a lack of identity or a broad spectrum of identities all Asian women share. When we explore race, people will always think of attributes races will all share; for example with Asian women, people will automatically presume them to have long black hair, almond eyes, an olive cast to their skin tone, and are thin. Where this is true for some, but not all, this is where clumping race into one identity fails and strips people from their own individuality and humanity. At the same time if we think of this as uniting a broad spectrum of Asian women through they shared heritage, it can also be seen in a positive light.

What is so fascinating about Jessica’s work other than her phenomenally beautiful embroidery technique is her layered narratives. One can look at her work and see all the various subjects she touches upon and ways of viewing people and identity. Her work starts a broader conversation about race, how we perceive people, and how people perceive themselves.

 

To view more of Jessica’s work, visit her website or follow her on Instagram!

https://jessicasorentang.com

https://www.instagram.com/jessicasorentang/

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Emerging Artist

Emerging Artist: Emily Robards

One of my favorite things to do is to occasionally go onto Booooooom and look through the artists who submit work each month in the comments section. I scroll for a very long time looking for someone who has amazing work and is overlooked. This month I was browsing through and saw these amazing found photography works with text. I started reading the text and was mesmerized by the power of the phrases and statements juxtaposed with vintage photography.

The artist who constructs these intriguing works is, Emily Robards. She is a young artist living in Ireland. She works in many medias that include, photography, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and video. I’ve found these poetic photographic imagery and text the most compelling of her work. It really grabs you from the deepest part of your psyche and of others. This collection of work she lists on her website under poetry of which these texts very much align with poetry.

The particular works I am featuring are from the 1st collection of poems. Some of the poems give off an melancholic quality, “she had had nothing to show from her time Long after she had left her home had remained barren”, shown with an image of a woman; while others are whimsical, “inside her tiny lights and mirrors created a limitless, starry universe.” paired with a young child of which is often a representation of naiveté and imagination. The photo booth setting allows for the viewer to connect with the subject in the image more intimately, it’s almost as if you are hearing their secrets, a private moment of which you may not normally get to experience, which is similar in the film Amelie. Amelie collects photo booth images of people who have left them behind, the photos reveal people in their true selves, either happy, sad, angry, or silly, moments and personality traits people would normally shield from society for fear of humiliation.

Along with the in depth messages, the vintage photography itself is a found attributes to the work along with the poems themselves of which look found and altered to create a new narrative. The image and the poems work together to create the personalities and little glimpses of the lives the artist has recreated for them. We do not know who these people really are, but by connecting their image with a poem pertaining to a life experience brings back the humanity to the unknown people of the past.

To see more of Emily Robards work, visit her website and Tumblr!

http://www.emilyrobards.com

http://emilyrobardspoetry.tumblr.com