MUSEUM

OF

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EST. 2018

In Conversation with Patrick Wang

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"HERstory" by Patrick Wang.

Acrylic.  

Interior artist ("Rehumanized") and cover art finalist for the Summer 2019 issue of Canvas.

Below is discussion between Canvas Editor-in-Chief Lindsay Herko and Summer 2019 contributing artist Patrick Wang.

LINDSAY

 

What inspired the creation of "HERstory?" Was this the first time you've explored it (or any other form of social activism/movement) as a concept in your artistic work? Or has it been an evolving thread?  Is it something you'd like create upon in the future?

 

 

 

PATRICK

 

I was inspired by my mother’s journey as an immigrant. She grew up in an extremely poor village in Northern China, and she still found the power within herself to move to America to find a better life. She has faced countless instances of sexism and overcame them all. I know women all over the world still face the same problems that she once did, but I made this piece to celebrate the progress that has been made. I just hope that the fight for gender equality continues. I’m not used to political pieces, but it is certainly something that I am interested in pursuing in the future. 

 

 

LINDSAY

 

Do you recall when you became aware of HERstory/history written from a feminist perspective or how that revelation made you feel? Or has this been something that's always been in your life view?

 

PATRICK

 

I grew up surrounded by girls, and a majority of my friends are girls as well. I was always well-educated on the importance of equality and the inherent inequality that many women face in our society today. 

 

 

LINDSAY

 

What was the process for deciding the medium/medias for the piece . . . Can you speak on how the design unfolded for you?   

 

When I look at "HERstory" I like how the story grows vertically upward and I see the gray space on the sides as the past unknowing how future history would be. The light and heat of women’s abilities seem to be cracking out of primordial stone. The face on the right seems male, and in that grayness—showing how male voices have rung out throughout history trying to dominate.  We see an entire transformation of agility and in the color scheme with the women as we move upward ultimately culminating in the sun. The professionals are still looking on women coming up in future (the graduate).  The work possess a fractal quality as though it could be the mosaic pieces that build a sacred space that lasts, but this also lends to making the lower parts of the image seem almost lunar—something that is both in contrast with the sunlight and pairs well with the female astronaut.  I could read this too as how opening oneself to see history through the feminine perspective is the step into another realm: a world one has to explore anew and with thought.


Are there specific messages embedded in the piece you hope your viewers will receive?

 

 

 

PATRICK

 

The design was meant to be a celebration of triumphs throughout history such as the 19th amendment and the slowly increasing amount of women in professional jobs (from darkness to the light). I, however, love your interpretation as well. 

 

 

 

LINDSAY

 

Where do you feel the ideal viewing place or situation would be for "HERstory?"

 

 

PATRICK

 

I think that the best place for this piece should be the Georgia Congressional building. Georgia is known for its infamous abortion bill, and I think this piece represents the kind of thinking we need in order to fix problems of inequality. 

 

LINDSAY

 

Outside of this piece, what is your trajectory as an artist?  How would you self-describe what compels you to create?  Who are you hoping to become?   What are you currently working on?  Is there something you wish your younger artist-self knew?

 

PATRICK

 

I draw mostly to relieve stress and express my own ideas. I would say I am more of a creative writer than anything (I’m writing from the Kenyon Young Writers workshop right now). I continue to express my ideas through both art and writing, and I am interested in pursuing both medicine and creative writing (I believe the two have more in common than people think).

 

LINDSAY

 

What do you wish someone your contemporary would ask you?  What do you wish someone in an older generation would ask you?

 

 

PATRICK

 

I honestly just wish the older generation would actually ask me questions. My generation is often dismissed as naive and worrying too much. I am often told “you’ll become conservative when you grow older” but I know for fact that my ideas right now will stay with me forever. We have important things to say and people should actually listen. 

 

 

LINDSAY

 

If you could spend an ideal interaction with someone who has influenced your creativity, what would that be like?

 

PATRICK

 

I am inspired by artists and poets who talk about taboo topics, especially regarding the LGBTQ community. In my writers’ camp right now, there is an amazing poet who has inspired my creativity through his work on queer desire. An ideal interaction would be just a deep talk about what politics ignores, the stories behind people’s faces. Coming out stories. Stories of inequality and oppression. I want to know what stories inspired those authors and artists.

 

LINDSAY

Where do we need art most?

 

PATRICK

 

We need art the most in order to avoid single stories that develop stereotypes and misunderstanding. My art is meant to tell stories that many may not see. These stories make us human, and in the end, isn’t that what matters most? 

We need art the most in order to avoid single stories that develop stereotypes and misunderstanding. My art is meant to tell stories that many may not see. These stories make us human, and in the end, isn’t that what matters most? 

Patrick Wang is a junior at Northview High School in Johns Creek, Georgia. He can always be found with a book in his hand, and he is a coffee addict. He is particularly inspired by his AP Language class and the unique themes that literature presents. When not reading, Patrick is either drawing or binging ungodly amounts of Netflix.