ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE: HANNA MOON & JOYCE NG TAKE OVER THE SOMERSET HOUSE
Only us foreigners know that feeling of coming to London for the first time and experiencing the unique mix of emotions, somewhere between excitement and disorientation, when all of your surroundings seem shiny and new despite being there for hundreds of years. It’s the feeling of being lost in translation, despite understanding every word coming out of people’s mouthes. Why? Because English is your second language. And that’s where the title of the latest show to take over Somerset House comes from. Curated by Shonagh Marshall and featuring work of rising stars of fashion photography Hanna Moon and Joyce Ng, English As A Second Language is a photographic exhibition that focuses on the interrelationships of foreign creatives and the rapidly-shifting landscape of cities.
The photography on display in Somerset House’s Terrace Rooms speaks from a perspective of two Asian-born artists (Moon is South Korean, and Joyce is from Hong kong) whose careers are peaking in London, which then results in work constantly communicating between West and East. How far can an artist go from their own heritage? It’s the question worth asking whether you’re a foreigner or not, whether you create art or you just enjoy looking at it. The feeling of belonging and a lack thereof – it’s what fuels these artists and their captivating imagery, published with magazines ranging from M Le Magazine du Monde through Dazed and i-D to 1 Granary and Centrefold. A fine selection of that work is now spread across the three rooms in Somerset House, ready for your indulgence. Weekend plans? Sorted. Existential questions? Going stronger than ever.
‘English As A Second Language’ by Hanna Moon & Joyce Ng At The Somerset House is on at the Somerset House until April 28th.