Oil on canvas
203 x 163 cm
Huang Hai-Hsin’s whimsical paintings reference a plethora of visual sources, from low-fi, badly-composed family snapshots of the 1960s and 1970s to children’s book illustrations, fairy tales and horror movies – they especially evoke the sense that the banal everyday can suddenly slip into the realm of the terrifying, reminding us of the early films of Steven Spielberg. Huang painted these works while she was still adjusting to life in New York, observing the family rituals of other people, watching people in parks, museums and other public spaces. At first her paintings appear to record anodyne, even banal moments in domestic settings, or, as here, in a rather sinister pet shop, but on closer inspection their ambiguity is unsettling. Huang says she thinks audiences will laugh, but with ‘a bitter, awkward chuckle’.