Seonna Hong - Artist portrait, photo via

Seonna Hong

United States 1973


Seonna Hong
Seonna Hong
United States
April 13, 2016

Narrative and often autobiographical images that represent children in natural landscapes, surrounded by animals and sometimes surreal objects, classify Seonna Hong among interesting artist on LA artistic scene. Her unusual approach reflects her personal ongoings and representing children she actually depicts a version of herself. She enjoys in transforming things into something entirely different by putting them into another context. Little girls, gramophones, bears and zebras live in the world of yellow fields, purple mountains and orange sky. Playing with her own imagination, Hong creates vivid images encouraging the viewer to recall his childhood memory and play with her characters.

Seonna Hong - Course Correction, 2012
Seonna Hong – Course Correction, 2012

Questioning the Perception Issues

Seonna Hong raised in Southern California where she graduated with a B.A. in Arts from Cal State University Long Beach. Working as an art teacher for children, she released Animus, a motion picture book, designed for the youngest audience. Her artwork has appeared in animation for children TV stations and motion pictures. In 2004, she received an Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Production Design for her work on the animated series My Life as a Teenage Robot. Her paintings have been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows, in the United States and abroad.

Hong’s latest series of paintings put the perception issues in focus. She questions the viewer’s experience and impressions of the depicted subjects. Concisely planning the process of creation, using the symbolism in the expression, the result is still spontaneous. The landscapes constantly move from the background into the foreground, and reverse and characters live in naturally unrealistic world that comes to life around them. Girls as main protagonists in the same time beautify and tell the story of their pictorial existence.

Children represents the embodiment of humanizing power

Seonna Hong - Coping Mechanisms, 2011 (left) - Combustible Engine, 2011 (right)
Seonna Hong – Coping Mechanisms, 2011 (left) – Combustible Engine, 2011 (right)

Idea of Visual Memory

The exhibition The Persistence of Vision rest on a theory based on the idea of visual memory, an impression that retains an image long enough to project the next image directly following it. This phenomenon is connected to the way that film and animation are viewed, like the succession of images that create one whole picture. Having the experience in animation as a production artist, Hong adopted this concept as a natural path. Using this medium, she brings to life her characters thanks to their movement as well as the brain’s ability to fill in the gaps. Exactly this is the issue and the main question that she tries to explain in this series of paintings.

Hong’s animation work influences her painting style

Seonna Hong - Devine Nervousness, 2012 (left) - From Now On, 2012 (right)
Seonna Hong – Devine Nervousness, 2012 (left) – From Now On, 2012 (right)

Animated Paintings

Blurring the boundaries between animation and painting, Seonna Hong creates autobiographical works in which childhood has a positive effect on the adulthood. With the strong influence of animation style, she paints on wooden panels and canvases representing characters from the cartoons or children books. Being in the focus of her artistic creation, children represents the embodiment of humanizing power. Sometimes moving in a less figurative direction, Hong incorporates text in some of her paintings, trying to be more literal in the expression. Personal invents and life in constant emotional and physical motion represents the frame and body for all of her paintings.

Seonna Hong is represented by Jonathan Levine Gallery.

Seonna Hong lives and works in Los Angeles.

Featured image: Artist portrait, photo via
All images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition titleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015LA Art Show Hashimoto Contemporary, Los AngelesGroup
2015Moleskine Project group showHashimoto Contemporary, San FranciscoGroup
2015Incognito Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa MonicaGroup
2015Ode to the Motherlode Good Eye Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2015Lost in SpaceGrumpy Bert, BrooklynGroup
2014LA Wood Show Arena 1, Santa MonicaGroup
2014Parallel Universe Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2014Art of Truancy Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New YorkGroup
2014Space, Squared White Walls Gallery, San FranciscoGroup
2013Post It Show GR2 Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2013These Friends 4 THIS Los Angeles, Los AngelesGroup
2012 Persistence of Vision LeBasse Projects, Culver CitySolo
2012PULSE Miami LeBasse Projects, MiamiGroup
2012Space, Form Breeze Block Gallery, PortlandGroup
2012ISM: 10 Exhibition Grand Central Art Center, Santa AnaGroup
2012Blacked Out Hurley Gallery, Huntington BeachGroup
2012These Friends 3 THIS Los Angeles, Los AngelesGroup
2012Fresh StART 2012 Arena 1, Santa MonicaGroup
2012Printed Matter GR2 Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2011PULSE Miami LeBasse Projects, MiamiGroup
2011Benefit for GR2 GR2 Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2011Support: Artists Unite For Japan, Art From the Ashes Royal T, Los AngelesGroup
2011Momentum LeBasse Projects, Culver CityGroup
2011These Friends 2 THIS Los Angeles, Los AngelesGroup
2010 Post It Show GR2 Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2010Sanrio's Small Gift Miami, MiamiGroup
2010Pattern Recognition Subliminal Projects, Los AngelesGroup
2010Sugipop Portsmouth Museum of Art, PortsmouthGroup
2010 Unleash the Beast,Arena 1, Santa MonicaGroup
2010Group Show Kaikai Kiki Gallery, TaipeiGroup
2010Ed Emberley and Friends Scion Installation, Culver CityGroup
2010A Visual Dialogue Bo Lee Gallery, Bath,Group
2009Beach Blanket Bingo Jonathan Levine Gallery, New YorkGroup
2009+2, Summer Group Show Sloan Fine Art, New YorkGroup
200915 Year Anniversary Show, GRSF, San FranciscoGroup
2009Brood Work Eagle Rock Center For the Arts, Los AngelesGroup
2009I Know What You're Thinking Sloan Fine Art, New YorkGroup
2008Viscery Loves Company KaiKai Kiki Gallery, TokyoSolo
2007Our Endless Numbered Days 5BE Gallery, New YorkSolo
2006SubUrban Series Knoxville Museum of Art, KnoxvilleSolo

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