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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: Kazu Livingstone

Kazu Livingstone is a self-taught artist from Malaysia. Along with making his own work, he also is a Graphic Designer and a poet. He has had the opportunity to collaborate with Nike and show at various group exhibitions in 5 continents. His work is focused on the subject of politics and uses vector illustration as his media.

The colors in Kazu’s work is bright and electrifying with clusters of images that create a narrative. Each work focuses on a different political topic. His subjects are daring and blunt and do not sugar coat the world we live in. The narratives are strong and show a distinct critique of those in power and events throughout the world. I admire Kazu’s ability to be frank with an audience and not let anything stop him from creating work about these controversial subjects.

Everything is absolutely thought-provoking, I literally just spent 10 minutes looking at the work, Killing Time pondering the meaning and the subject of JFK’s assassination, the Bay of Pigs, and Lee Harvey Oswald. There is a wealth of information and one has to really spend time and process all of it shown in the works.

Not only does Kazu’s work feature political subjects, but also pop-culture. The work, I-mortality features images of Marilyn Monroe, Batman, a parody on Google called Giggle, the main characters of The Matrix, and Hello Kitty on Barack Obama’s crotch. The work is pop-culture meets politics with subjects on Mortality, Human Rights, and Culture. The chaos in the work adds to the fact that our world/society is chaotic.

A literature reference for all of you readers/viewers, Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut is a short story that I think really identifies in subject to Kazu’s work and politics. It is a story set in the future of which a Government has deemed everyone “equal” and controls everyones lives and monitors them to make sure no one advances. It’s a great story, very eye opening, but everything Vonnegut writes is great and eye opening.

http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html

To see more of Kazi Livingstone’s work visit these links,

http://newworldangle.daportfolio.com/

https://www.behance.net/kazulivingstone

http://newworldangle.tumblr.com/