April 18, 2024 – June 21, 2024
UB CFA Gallery
Wuon-Gean Ho is compelled by the idea of remembering—or rather, of not forgetting. She has described the moments she depicts as nodal moments, holding and encapsulating specific, visceral, and tactile feelings, while also standing in for bigger scenes. We all have these moments, which so often coalesce around the senses, particularly touch: coming into contact, handling in wanted or unwanted ways, or taking a small amount. Or “touched”: feeling moved through gratitude or sympathy, past actions, or being a little off-kilter. The title plays on the idea of the heart’s eye as an object of desire, the heart’s sigh as a lament or a rush of joy, and finally the heart’s sight: what we sense and the deepness of that sensing. These sensory explorations are embedded in Ho’s diary series, with meticulously carved and inked prints that are small, touchable, and intimate. These works morphed during the COVID-19 pandemic to become a method of connection at a point when we were cut off from the outside world. Their reportage aspect brings us into her lived experience, and encompass strands of life as varied as grief, solo navigation, dance, movement, feeling like an outsider, feeling like an insider, sleep, the importance of animals, swimming, comfort eating, comfort in general, and being in nature. Previous work also includes meditations on dance, clothing as a cultural signifier, the power of storytelling, and the tactility of bodies. Her most recent work also considers Dante’s Divina Commedia and building meaning in the circles of hell. Ho’s work in this exhibition encompasses linocuts, screenprints, artist books, and video.
Wuon-Gean Ho was born in Oxford, UK, of Peranakan Chinese heritage. She graduated with a BA in History of Art from Cambridge University, and a professional license as a veterinarian, before taking up a Japanese Government Scholarship in 1998 to study Japanese woodblock printmaking in Kyoto Seika University, Japan, under the tutelage of renowned artist Akira Kurosaki. She later completed an MA in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art, graduating with a distinction in 2016. She views printmaking and drawing as ways to halt the act of forgetting, and to charge ordinary moments with layered significance. Ho has taken part in numerous international print conferences in diverse roles including keynote speaker, exhibitor, panel chair and curator. She has written extensively for the UK based publication, Printmaking Today, as news editor for five years, and was the founding editor of the IMPACT Printmaking Journal, an academic peer-reviewed journal that she created for the Centre for Print Research, University of West of England, Bristol, UK, where she held a research associate post from 2019–23. Her practice encompasses printmaking, animation and book arts, and she exhibits her prize-winning works widely in the UK and abroad, most recently in a solo exhibition in 2023, Before I Forget, at the Hong Kong Open Printshop. In 2022 she visited five US universities, University of Charlotte, North Carolina; University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN; University of Indiana, Bloomington, IN; University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and University of Hawai’i, Hilo staying a week in each of the latter four places: giving talks, making projects with students and creating new works.
Curated by Anna Wager, UB Art Galleries Curator of Exhibitions.