John Hung Ha was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1978 to a Vietnamese mother and a Chinese father. He studied Graphic Design at the Memphis College of Art, and in 2001 he received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Printmaking. He has exhibited his work all over the United States in such cities as Los Angeles, CA, Hilton Head, SC, Nashville, TN, Providence, RI, New York City, NY and many others. He is currently working at Seigel Studios NYC in Brooklyn, New York, as well as exhibiting regularly.
John Ha's work is a fantastical amalgam of flattened, highly graphic visual techniques and vibrant coloration that comments on the duality of the Asian-American experience. His collapsed, disorienting pictorial arrangements oscillate between the formal techniques of Western Op-art and conventional East-Asian block prints. Subtly, Hung Ha begs a discourse between the conventions of the Western and East-Asian art historical canons. Do they exist in tandem, or in opposition? Are they mutually exclusive, or can they be reconciled? Hung Ha describes his work as positive, dynamic investigations of psycho-physiological space. He writes, "I am fascinated with art as a visual equivalent to energy. I want my finished pieces to act as an arena for visual activity. I transfer my internal energy through the brush to the canvas highlighting the intricacy, spontaneity, and fluidity of my Asian-themed representations" (Arts at the Airport, http://www.flynashville.com/arts/quarterly/HungHa.aspx, Sept. 2006).
His subject matter is similarly informed by the interplay of East Asia and the United States, and the possible discombobulated visual perspective that dichotomy may inspire. In Superman Jr., 2004, a lenticular print delineated into a grid, a toddler superman trolls through a backdrop of Chinatown. It is American pop weaving through the evidence of Chinese immigration. In his prolific series featuring myriad, but always disorienting view points of Asian koi, and panda fish, Hung Ha brings the viewer into the proverbial fish-bowl. His fish, flattened and larger than life, are rendered into a luxurious tapestry of color and space that dynamically comment on our own existence while providing sumptuous visual pleasure. In Hung Ha's work, intellectuality, visual culture, pleasure and originality come to fruition.
1998-2001Rhode Island School of Design - BFA in printmaking - Providence, RI
1996-1998Memphis College of Art - graphic design - Memphis, TN
2003 Kenny Schachter - contemporary install - large paintings and sculptures - NY, NY
2003 Josiah G. Mcelheny - assisted with glass studio process - NY, NY
2002 Ursula von Rydingsvard studio - assisted with wood fabrication and lamination of large sculptures - Brooklyn, NY
2002 Brooklyn Front Gallery - install and de-install large paintings and sculptures Brooklyn, NY
2001 Gelardi design - created multi-imaging and 3-d graphics using i-merge programs Kennebuntport, ME
2001 Hawaiian hemp designs - designed and assisted with t-shirt production Honolulu, HI
2001 RISD - *computer studio technician - *silkscreen studio technician - Providence, RI
2004 "RISD/WORKS" 10 Westminister St. Providence, RI
2003 "up and coming" 450 Broadway Gallery sponsored by MLC Foundation NY, NY
2003 "you can't drive my car" cooper classic collection NY, NY
2003 suydam diepenbrock Newport, RI
2002 Ft Mason Center RISD alumni group show San Francisco, CA