English as A Second Language: An Exhibition by Hanna Moon & Joyce Ng
It was only sixteen years ago that Sofia Coppola showed us the meaning of being lost in translation through her cult flick movie. 2019 sees a new take on this particular topic of otherness through the Somerset House exhibition English as a Second Language.
Curated by Shonagh Marshall, the show features the work of London-based Asian-born contemporary photographers Hanna Moon and Joyce Ng. The work, being taken around and in Somerset House, shows themes of diversity and alienation. All things that come to life, just like in the Coppola movie, when trying to survive a place that doesn’t speak your first language. Or humour. Or lifestyle.
Hanna is originally from South Korea and Joyce from Hong Kong. They met while studying at Central Saint Martins in 2010. Even if easily grouped under the Asian category, the artists assert their differences. The way they interpret language and symbols sometimes separate them on another dimension of thoughts, as opposed to someone who grows up in a mono-dialect world.
In a time when the word “Brexit” is constantly shown on the first tab of our news app, a show displaying the feelings of alienation through the eyes of two London-based immigrants seems incredibly relevant. The beautiful aspect of it though is that Joyce and Moon don’t restrict themselves to show otherness through their work: they confirm the positivity of being in between spheres and being able to understand both aspects, both cultures and both worlds.
The exhibition is split into three sections: the first displays the new work Hanna made for the show, the second features Joyce’s new body of work and the third displays work they have shot for advertisements, editorials and personal projects.
25 Jan – 28 Apr 2019