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Seraphim Hong
Honors, Painting + Drawing

Over the course of my time at the University of Washington I was able to study traditional media to create works that express identity and dream within the context of the natural environment. The environment, animals, and the human relationships within are a large focus in my work, and I have been greatly influenced by artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Luchita Hurtado, and Aya Takano, who express these concepts with rich colors and dreamlike forms. Authors Karen Tei Yamashita and Banana Yoshimoto are large inspirations that have also greatly influenced the subjects of my work in looking at environmentalism and relationships through magical realism. My current work, Dear, explores the way we communicate during a time of great change and social isolation. Though I have worked with oil paints, digital art, and pencils, I have primarily created in watercolor. Watercolor as a medium is expressive and has great capacity to create various forms and pigment interactions. I am painting with watercolor on each postcard of this project daily as a way to document my scattered thoughts through the Covid-19 pandemic, and then I send them through the mail to others for them to also express their thoughts in a collaborative, yet personal, piece. This is a way to show solidarity and express community even though we are all physically apart. Community and communication are key in exploring global issues and understanding how we can create changes that help and respect each other and the planet.

Originally from La Mesa, California, I am a Seattle-based graduating student at the University of Washington School of Art + Art History + Design with Honors in Painting and Drawing, 2020. I am a multiracial Asian American woman and my identity is an incredible inspiration and important aspect of how I interact with the world and how I create my works about community, the Earth, and expressions of emotions and dreams. I have also extensively studied in American Ethnic Studies and Environmental Studies, which are both fundamental in my framework of ideas and interests. I originally trained in traditional drawing and oil painting, which gave me the core skills to explore and fall in love with watercolor as my medium of choice. Watercolor as a medium is accessible and has given me much freedom and the ability to express ideas and be present wherever I create. I have had the honor of previously student teaching in fundamental drawing with Seattle-based artist Jono Vaughan at Bellevue College where I graduated with a concentration in Art (2018) as well as being a studio assistant and contributor in her Betty Bowen Award winning project Project 42, 2017. I have also been able to contribute to LGBTQ+ and women’s rights groups through organizing Portraits 4 Proceeds donation campaign in 2019.