Before Seonna Hong’supcoming show “Persistence of Vision” opening this Saturday at LeBasse Projects, we got to catch up with her to talk a bit about her work and this new exhibition.
LBP: The meaning behind “The Persistence of Vision” is one that is not only very interesting, but intriguing. Can you elaborate more on the inspiration behind it?
Seonna Hong: I first learned about this concept when I visited the Exploratorium in San Francisco with my daughter. The museum teaches through interactive displays and this one demonstrated the idea that image memory helped to inform the larger picture. It’s a concept borrowed from the way film or animation is perceived… that successive frames form the picture and that the memory of one frame is imprinted on the next, creating seamless movement. This resonated with me as my recent work deals with memory, imprints and perception and how the added element of projection, from one’s own narrative, can color the picture further.
LBP: This will be your first solo opening in some time, has there been any major changes or differences in you new work?
SH: My last solo show was actually 4 years ago, but it’s been 7 years since I’ve shown on my own in Los Angeles. It takes me awhile to create work and that’s why there’s so much time between shows, but I’ve also found a new spontaneity recently that I like. My paintings used to be carefully planned and carried out and now the process is more organic. I end up making more mistakes and going down more dead-end streets but where I end up is closer to where I am in that moment. Whatever it was that I was feeling on that day… whatever happened at work, at home, in traffic ends up on my painting.
LBP: How long on average would you say it takes to produce a piece?
SH: It’s hard to say because there are some pieces that I create very quickly and there’s a dynamic quality to it that I like and try not to ruin. And then there are other pieces that I could probably keep painting forever but I force myself to have a ‘pencils down’ moment and call it done.
LBP: In general when creating your art, what would you say your biggest influence(s) are?
SH: Music. Definitely music. There are some songs that stop me in my tracks and others that I play over and over and over and are the soundtrack to everything I do.
LBP: What materials were used to comprise the pieces that will be featured in this upcoming show?
SH: Lots of stuff from the hardware store… paint chips, contact paper, house paint… And then I was on a whole new learning curve constructing the geode. I was sculpting styrofoam and got pretty good at using a specialty tool that I will probably never use again unless I start a side business of making faux rocks for backyard waterfalls.
LBP: As well as being an artist you have also worked in animation, would you say the fields are relatively different? What in your opinion, are the similarities and differences?
SH: I would say that my work in animation has definitely had it’s influence on my personal work and vice versa. One field informs choices that I make in the other and there are some things (like my palette for example) that inevitably run through both because they go through the same conduit (me). They are different in the way that animation is a collaborative process and my personal work is solitary, and the obvious being that the work I do for animation is approached more objectively and my personal work is, well, more personal.
LBP: As for the future, where do you see the direction of your art heading?
SH: I’m not really sure, but I like not knowing. It’s an important part of my process to constantly try to keep moving…even if it’s laterally… and sometimes downward… but I like trying new things.