Ran Hwang is best known for her large-scale wall installations in which buttons, beads, pins, and threads on wood panels form images of falling blossoms, vases, Buddhas, and birds. Hwang’s installations have also taken on more current themes, exploring the fashion industry and female identities in popular culture. Drawing from Eastern philosophies, Hwang’s method is a meditative ritual in which she first projects an outline onto the wall, then traces its contour and painstakingly fills in the image with her materials, a process that can take up to a month.
The artists says “The process of building large installations is time consuming and repetitive,” Hwang has said. “And it requires manual effort, which provides a form of self-meditation.”
She hammers thousands of pins into a wall like a monk who, facing the wall, practices Zen. The pins are used to hold buttons remain free to move and suggest the genetic human tendency to be irresolute. The choosen buttons are as common and ordinary as human beings.