The Mountain That Does Not Describe a Circle: Works by Hong Hong
Paper’s ubiquity in our lives renders it invisible in a way, passing through our hands for functional purposes without our close attention to its physical presence. The Mountain That Does Not Describe a Circle invites us to more deeply consider the material structure and surfaces of paper, its function, and its ability to communicate a broad range of information. While we look for handwriting or printed text on most 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.
The performance of ritual, 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. 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.
Hong (b. 1989, Hefei, China, lives and works in Houston) investigates human experiences of time, dimension, and space in her work and installations. As an exhibition takes shape and her work is being installed in a space, both intentional planning and chance operations are at play. In The Mountain That Does Not Describe a Circle, the architecture of Asia Society Texas is both a support and a counterpoint for these ideas of scale, visual perception, and experiential connection.
Admission to this exhibition is free.
Thursday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Photography of the exhibition is permitted.
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.
In May 2021, Hong Hong participated in an interview for the Houston Asian American Archive, a program managed by Rice University's Chao Center for Asian Studies. She covers a range of topics, from her family background and education to her experiences making and exhibiting work.
Artist Talk: Hong Hong – On Material, Time, and Transference
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 | 7 p.m. Webcast
Docent-led tours of Asia Society Texas Center’s exhibitions allow visitors to experience art on a personal level, learn about art historical periods and styles, and hear stories associated with the artwork. Art tours are free for Members, $5 for Nonmembers.
Click on the link(s) below to RSVP or buy tickets.
We invite you to visit, either in-person or through their websites, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft where Hong Hong began a residency in 2020, and Art League Houston where her work will be installed on the facade of the building in April and May of 2021.
Please share your experience of her work with us: @honghongstudio @asiasocietytx #AsiaSocietyTX
Reading the Weather at Art League Houston
On view at ALH Sculpture Garden
Art League Houston is presenting Reading the Weather, an installation of work by artist Hong Hong, currently based in Houston, Texas. Organized by the artist and Sarah Beth Wilson, ALH’s Director of Exhibitions and Curatorial Projects, Reading the Weather is a monumental, site responsive paper-work installed on the façade of ALH’s building adjacent to the Sculpture Garden.
Friday, May 7, 2021, 6–8 p.m. | ALH
Friday, May 7, 2021, 6:30 p.m. | ALH Sculpture Garden
Exhibitions at Asia Society Texas are presented by Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, and Leslie and Brad Bucher. Major support comes from The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston Endowment, and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Generous funding also provided by The Anchorage Foundation of Texas, The Clayton Fund, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Wortham Foundation, Inc., and Agnes Hsu-Tang, Ph.D. and Oscar L. Tang. United Airlines is our official airline partner. Funding is also provided through contributions from the Exhibitions Patron Circle, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional visual art to Asia Society Texas.
Nancy C. Allen
Leslie & Brad Bucher
Chinhui Juhn & Edward Allen
Official Airline Sponsor
Plan Your Visit
1370 Southmore Blvd. Houston, TX 77004 713.496.9901
Our parking lot is closed June 5–13; street parking remains available. Our building will be closed to the public June 11–12.