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Work Samples

The Succession of Nature, 2017-2018

The Succession of Nature, 2017-2018, Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, MD) Artist in her exhibition "The Succession of Nature" wearing her matching costume for her "E.N.D.O." performance.

You're In Good Hands, 2019

installation art
You're In Good Hands -- E.N.D.O. Real Estate Brokerage Services), 2019, Spring Break Art Fair (New York, NY) You're In Good Hands installation at Spring Break Art Fair where I tried to sell art fair attendees real estate in the post-apocalypse.

The End of Days Spectacular Spectacular, 2018

The End Of Days Spectacular Spectacular, 2018, Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, MD)- Image from her participatory performance "The End of Days Spectacular Spectacular" at the Baltimore Museum of Art featuring a live showcase of performances from Baltimore community groups, The Greenmount West Community Center Drumline, Goh's Kung-Fu (shown), The Baltimore Dance Crews Project, and Lilian Jones Foundation Youth DJ's.

Niagara, 2018

installation, painting
Niagara, 2018, Smithsonian Arts and Industry Building (Washington, D.C.) Large-scale painting influenced from reading Rob Nixon's "Slow Violence and the Environmentalism for the Poor" created for the Smithsonian's 2018 Long Conversation--"an epic creative marathon between artists, scientists and other big thinkers that's guaranteed to leave you feeling better about the future.

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About Phaan

Baltimore City

Phaan Howng's picture
Phaan Howng, 洪恭凡 ( Taiwanese American, b. 1982) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Baltimore, Maryland. Her work explores different variations on what she calls an “optimistic post-apocalypse”---nature restyling herself into different sublime landscapes devoid of human beings. These landscapes are created from narratives generated by thoroughly researching various philosophical, scientific and literary investigations of humanity’s futile attempts to cease or even slow down its ecologically... more

The Succession of Nature

The Succession of Nature, 2017-2018
Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD

This immersive installation was created for the BMA’s Imagining Home exhibition’s Commons Collaboration. When creating the proposal for this project, I was required to tie into Imagining Home’s exhi­bition of central universal theme of home. I created the space to have viewers move beyond the traditional domestic no­tions of “home” to think of what “home” is when all its natural resources have been de­pleted or destroyed due to climate change.

To link these concepts together, I created a typical house shaped shelter to act as a semiotic for “home.” Inside was a cot, bench, and a radio that played imag­ined sounds of static in a post-human Earth. These elements activated viewers to really immerse themselves and investigate the space like an archeological dig—as if they found the remnants of that last person on Earth.

All materaials used to create this space were chosen to be as recyclable or reusable as possible.

Walls: Acrylic, acrylic gouache, and spraypaint on paper, 55"x 120" per panel (approx 20)
Floors: Acrylic, acrylic gouache, spraypaint, and polyurethane on MDF. 24"x 96" per panel (approx 60)
Picnic Benches: Acrylic, acrylic gouache, spraypaint, resin clay, and polyurethane on wood
Logs: Acrylic, acrylic gouache, and spraypaint on paper mache
Fire Pit of Environmental Guilt: Objects consumed during the fabrication period and acrylic paint on MDF
Fire Pit Bench: Acrylic, acrylic gouache, spraypaint, resin clay, and polyurethane over fiber glass and wood (recycled from 2 other installations)

Create an Elaborate Scheme to Raise Funds for Your Dental Work... (E.N.D.O.)

The Eternal Navigators of Doom aka Create an Elaborate Scheme to Raise Funds for Your Dental Work...
Baltimore Museum of Art, 2018

I was asked to do a performance along with my opening for the Succession of Nature at the Baltimore Museum of Art. I had no idea what I would do at the time of the request, I was worrying about how I would pay for a desperately needed $2000 root canal since I didn’t have dental insurance, and I also love cults. So using the working title and prompt of “Create an elaborate scheme to raise funds for your dental work,” I formed E.N.D.O. which stood for the Eternal Navigators of Doom Organization (also the abbreviation for endodontist) to create a fundraising campaign like any other “organization” would.

The performance included a video piece displayed on television rolled into the space, introduced by a member of the performance team- an infectious disease nurse in real life. An audience of the public viewed the film, a brief piece detailing the organization’s background and abilities, and then were invited to buy membership into the organization by another member of the performance team who was set up to sell items such as cards and tote bags, each with a unique password to a real website purporting to have special knowledge pertaining to the apocalypse. As people made purchases, they received a hand-drawn logo on their palms and were then saluted by me and the other two navigators, referencing methods used by cults to make members feel included. The performance was a satirical conflation of the tactics employed by cults and non-profit organizations to fundraise for a very thinly veiled self-serving cause - my own root canal.

The End Of Days Spectacular Spectacular

The End Of Days Spectacular Spectacular, 2018
Baltimore Museum of Art

This performance event was created to celebrate the closing of my exhibition. I wanted to engage the Baltimore community to raise awareness about our local environment by celebrating the end of days due to climate change. I invited local community groups such as the Greenmount West Community Center Drumline, Goh’s Kung-Fu, the Baltimore Dance Crews Project, and the Lillian Jones Foundation Youth DJ’s to perform. Free food was catered by Mera Kitchen Collective, a community-driven, food-based cooperative focused on empowerment of refugee and immigrant women by tapping into their passion for cooking, self-expression and creating community. This event was free and open to the public.

To set the stage and for visual cohesiveness with the exhibition, all performers were given custom silkscreened t-shirts of my design in matching colors. I made camouflage banner paintings to wrap the front columns of the BMA and bunting for the railing. I also created protest signs so members of the public can participate in the performance as hecklers or protesters. The performances kicked off from inside the gallery space where we paraded to the front entrance of the BMA and then paraded back in the gallery space with a dance party.

You're In Good Hands

You're In Good Hands, 2019
Spring Break Art Fair, New York, New York
(Known at Spring Break as E.N.D.O. Real Estate Brokerage Services for performance purposes)

This project was a site-specific conceptual performance and installation specifically designed to take place at an art fair. To play into the “Fact or Fiction” theme of the Spring Break Art Show, for You’re In Good Hands, I revitalized my one of my performative platforms E.N.D.O.--The Eternal Navigators of Doom Organiza­tion (Reference Video-E.N.D.O., An Introduction). E.N.D.O. is an “organization” that helps its members prepare and navigate the post-apocalypse, but just for the art fair, we started selling real estate properties in the post-apocalypse.

This concept of this performance was deeply rooted in my personal experience living in South Florida during the 2008 Financial Crisis where I was swept up in the real estate frenzy and purchased a con­do at the age of 25 but had to short sell two years later.
Recognizing parallels of my experience with the recent news of Silicon Valley billionaires purchasing real estate in New Zealand to create luxury bunkers to prepare for Armageddon, I acted as a sales agent to play out these scenarios through a fictional exchange of selling real estate and services to people in preparation for the post-apocalypse. Through this performance, I wanted to challenge: Why does capitalism carry the promise of survival for the wealthy regardless of the damage they have wrought?

At my booth, visitors were immersed in an allover hand painted en­vironment which resembled a classic office reception room in a color palette I called “Think of the (Miami) Dolphins.” I would sit behind the reception desk welcoming visitors to “The Organization,” and start my sales pitch on the different available real estate options and fielding any questions. The paintings on the wall are Turner-inspired sublime landscape paintings to act as iterations of waiting room art.

Materials-
Walls: Acrylic, acrylic gouache, and spray paint on Tyvek
Plants: Acrylic, and acrylic gouache on paper, paper mache, and cardboard
Wall Paintings: Acrylic, acrylic gouache, and spray paint on Tyvek and shitty store bought office frame
Floors: Acrylic, acrylic gouache, and polyurethane on Ram Board

Climate Test

Climate Test is a site-specific public art installation created for Art Kiosk in Redwood City, CA to create a dialogue about climate change in the city. The concept for this piece was inspired by Redwood City’s ambigu­ous motto of “Climate Best by Government Test,” its history as a port for lumber, and the fact that the city is part of Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is typically associat­ed with technology and innovation, but for me it represents the continuous consumption and mining of raw materials from the earth to drive it.

Using a “man-made color pallet” of bright and toxic colors, I created a surrealist forest of hand painted trees physically going through various detoxification, and toxic yet intoxicated transformations--trunks and branches melting away into oblivion over an ab­stracted typographic map of Redwood City and its geographic surroundings. Color changing lights are activated in the evening to
signify the passage of time.

Viewers are allowed to walk through the installation when the kiosk is open and can view it from all four sides of the building.

Materials:
Acrylic, acrylic gouache, and spray paint on Tyvek and color changing LED lights

Niagara

Installation for the Smithsonian Arts and Industry Building for 2018's Long Conversation.

While creating Niagara, I was heavily influenced by Princeton Professor Rob Nixon’s concepts of “slow violence,” or “violence that occurs gradually and out of sight; a delayed destruction often dispersed across time and space.” Niagara gives expression to our inability to see the long-term consequences of poor environmental policies, wars, and pollution, among other things, that result in human and ecological casualties of abiding structural violence.

This painting epitomizes “slow violence” against water on our planet. It captures the consequences and results of us – humans-- not thinking fully about how our consumption and waste affects a critical resource that humans, plants, and animals, cannot live without. It manifests what water would look like far into the future in a post-human world. Niagara Falls, an icon of waterfalls, a huge tourist attraction, and with its association with the Love Canal disaster, became a fitting title.

Painting: Acrylic, acrylic gouache, and spray paint on Tyvek, 24'x13' per panel
Mountains: Acrylic, acrylic gouache, spray paint, paper clay, and paper mache over steel armature

  • Niagara

    Viewers interacting with the installation.
  • Niagara, 2018

    installation, painting
    Niagara, 2018, Smithsonian Arts and Industry Building (Washington, D.C.) Large-scale painting influenced from reading Rob Nixon's "Slow Violence and the Environmentalism for the Poor" created for the Smithsonian's 2018 Long Conversation--"an epic creative marathon between artists, scientists and other big thinkers that's guaranteed to leave you feeling better about the future.
  • Niagara Peak

    sculpture, installation, painting
    Sculpture detail

Effigy, Elegy, Eulogy

Solo exhibition at Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA

Biological Controls: If it Bleeds We Can Kill It

Biological Controls: If it Bleeds We Can Kill It, 2016-2017
Eulogies of the Present Past, 2017, performance video
School 33 Art Center, Baltimore, MD

The title and concept of this installation is in reference to The Doomsday Book, by Gordon Rattray Taylor and Predator, the movie directed by John Tiernan. As I was researching the negative effects of war on the environment I started to think about how the Earth would protect itself in the future using current day warfare tactics. Camouflage became a very fitting idea when thinking about hiding in plain sight and using nature itself as a way to hide, surprise, attack, and defend-- similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s role as Dutch hiding from the Predator, and the Predator being invisible to attack.

For the public component of the exhibition, I created a partcipatory performance I titled Eulogies of the Present Past, where the audience was invited to write and recite poems around the theme of death and extinction. Due to space contraints, audience members were required to sit in a basement classroom in the building and watch partipants recite their poems via live stream on a TV. Participants took turns putting on a matching Tyvek suit so they would look to be camouflaged in the space. For the second portion was for participants to Karaoke to sad songs. Bloody Mary's were also served during the performance to help get everyone participating.

Materials:
Walls- acrylic, acrylic gouache, and spray paint on paper
Floors-acrylic, acrylic gouache, and spray paint on Tyvek
Trees-acrylic, acrylic gouache, and spray paint on carboard or paper mache
Bench-acrylic, acrylic gouache, and spray paint on a recycled fiber glass and wood bench from another installation

Connect with Phaan

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Phaan's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.