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Asia Society Texas opens "The Mountain That Does Not Describe a Circle: Works by Hong Hong"
Hong Hong (b. 1989, Hefei, China); Installation image of a large-scale project; Houston, Texas; 2021.

HOUSTON, TX.- Asia Society Texas Center welcomes Houston-based artist Hong Hong in a new free exhibition of her large-scale paper works on view now through July 25, 2021. In this site-responsive installation, The Mountain That Does Not Describe a Circle responds to the architecture of ASTC as both a support and a counterpoint for ideas of scale, visual perception, and experiential connection.

The Mountain That Does Not Describe a Circle, which includes 25 works in 5 different installations, invites viewers to more deeply consider the material structure and surfaces of paper, its function, and its ability to communicate a broad range of information. While handwriting or printed text is on most of the paper we encounter, these works by Hong Hong feature mark-making of their own which can be “read” through the lens of gesture – the gestures of the artist as she pours the paper pulp into the modular mould and deckle to make each large sheet of paper; arranging and layering the colored fibers to create specific shapes, lines, and textures; and affixing tape to the paper’s surface.

Using the inner bark harvested from mulberry trees, she cooks and then beats the bark by hand. With the addition of fiber-reactive dyes and water, a pulp is created which she pours into an immense single sheet outside under the open sky, adding successive layers as she circumambulates the horizontal frame. Once the water has sufficiently evaporated from the sheet, it is pulled off the mould and then immediately cut into two. This ritual process of creation, with its physical demands and cyclical patterns, grounds Hong’s practice and opens a channel of communication between present and past, the artist and her ancestors, and the mundane and the divine.

Hong Hong (b. 1989, Hefei, China, lives and works in Houston) is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice spans craft, painting, performance, and earthwork. She immigrated with her family to North Dakota when she was ten years old. Hong earned her MFA from University of Georgia in 2014 and her BFA from the State University of New York in 2011. Since then, Hong has traveled to different locations across the United States to make site-responsive, monumental paper-works. These investigations have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Georgia Museum of Art, Art League Houston, Penland School of Craft, Madison Museum of Fine Art, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Jewett Arts Center, and New Mexico History Museum. She has been commissioned to create public projects for Real Art Ways, Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University, and Artspace New Haven.

Hong is the recipient of fellowships and grants from MacDowell, Yaddo, National Endowment for the Arts, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Vermont Studio Center, Connecticut Office for the Arts, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Greater Hartford Arts Council, and The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation. Her work has been reviewed by Art21, Hyperallergic, Artnet News, Art New England, Virtual Asian American Art Museum, Southwest Contemporary, Hand Papermaking, Glasstire, Two Coats of Paint, and Yale Daily News. She has lectured and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Women's Studio Workshop, Wellesley College, Hartford Art School, and University of Oregon.

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