Chaotic collages of smiling women and bedroom whispers that mask our darkest projections. Speed streaks that generate constant calls to action. Drawings that exude a yearning for liberation. Emancipation that never quite materialises.
Anna Park’s first museum exhibition outside the United States presents a new body of her signature large-scale black and white drawings that feverishly capture the spirit of contemporary life. Concerned with the perpetual visibility and alienated self-awareness prevalent in our times, Park is a major new figure in drawing today.
Born in Daegu in 1996, Park has swiftly gained recognition for her richly detailed charcoal and ink works on paper that teeter between figuration and expressive abstraction. Drawing inspiration from popular culture, shared human experiences and interpersonal exchanges, Park’s works address the cultural construction and perception of identity, sexuality, and power within our hyper-mediated society. Her works display a form of nostalgic montaging, as she intentionally remixes elements from various art movements and styles, including Pop art from Andy Warhol to Marjorie Strider and Ed Ruscha, comic artists such as R. Crumb and Ralph Steadman, and the politically directed graphic collages of Barbara Kruger. Laced with signifiers of today’s zeitgeist, her satirical drawings make visible the ongoing societal pressure to conform to beauty standards.
From this position, Look, look. Anna Park homes in on Park’s darkly humorous exploration of female identity through the lens of film and television. Having immigrated from South Korea to the United States as a child, Park’s earliest experiences of Western culture were shaped by current and past American screen stories and advertisements. Here, she combines these with common phrases and fragmented female figures sourced from mid-century advertisements, comic books, American pop culture and questionable historical texts. Familiar images collide with disjointed dialogue, speech bubbles and captions as Park departs from linear narrative to mirror the complex process of identity formation experienced during her formative years.
Beyond her personal experience, these energised images reflect the overwhelming nature of our daily information consumption and the perpetual accessibility of internet culture. The interplay of text and images follows the constant flow of thoughts amidst a sea of information, altering the tone and intent of clichéd expressions. This hallucinatory experience is heightened by Park’s incorporation of collage and cut-out techniques to create drawings that are part-sculptural relief. Physically occupying space with us, these artworks engage us in a contemplative exploration of how mass media shapes and perpetuates cycles of idealisation and denigration in our collective consciousness.
Look, look. Anna Park is curated by Rachel Ciesla, Lead Creative, SLF ICAA, and will be accompanied by a comprehensive events program and a new publication designed by Studio Lin and published by AGWA.
20 Apr - 08 Sep 2024