Wuon-Gean Ho: Right Here, Right Now

Wuon-Gean Ho: Right Here, Right Now

Wuon-Gean Ho | Right Here, Right Now: Stories from These Times will be on exhibition October 7 - November 26, 2022. Join us for an artist talk November 3rd at 5pm.

Artist Statement

In 2016 I was invited to be a fellow at the Royal Academy Schools in London, renowned as the world’s oldest art school, with a tiny cohort of students who bond over fantastic lunches and a sense of tight companionship. It was there that I started this project. I set the parameters as follows: each print would be made with two blocks measuring 8 x 6 inches and talk of personal, lived experiences. I also wanted to make work which was funny, informal, colourful, and portable, that could be posted easily, and that would entertain. My main audience was my parents. My dad was living in a care home having broken his neck in a tragic accident, and my mum was in Oxford in the family home.

Some of the prints such as Illusion of Choice, Death by Email, and Horror Scroll speak about the pervasive effect of digital technology on our attention. For me, the phone is an addictive window to another world. Through the screen we can connect with each other, but the quality of connection is poor. In Death by Email I imagined the intense summer heat of 2020 as a fatal force. 

Blue Table Porto, Twenty Twenty, and Cassiopeia are prints that talk about reflection and creativity. What is it like to sit and draw, or contemplate the world over a cup of tea? How wonderful is it to feel small, and to gaze at the stars. In each print, the solitary figure is set within a space that is like a boat or a cocoon, surrounded by interesting objects, projected from the outside world. Cassiopeia balances the night sky upon the eye of the main figure, almost as if we are seeing a projection of her inner hopes and dreams. 

Some of the prints address absurd situations. When I was crammed into a long-distance bus, I made the print, Right Here Right Now, which gently questions whether we have indeed made progress with technology. When there was no one to share the results of an afternoon cooking due to Covid-enforced isolation, I made the print Belly of the Kitchen. When I was asked to check a little hamster in the local vet practice (I trained as a vet and still work part-time) I made Hamster Love, which is a print about the love and tenderness we bestow on our furry companions. 

Rivers of Gold was made from the memory of visiting a wonderful jewellery shop in my mum’s hometown of Ipoh, Malaysia. And the last print, Orchid Baby, is a portrait of the orchid that a group of students gave me in 2013, which has moved house twice, and blossoms on regular occasions. It is a print that speaks of how much I adore my plants.