Introducing Polin Huang:
Polin Huang (b. 1995, Taipei, Taiwan) is a mixed media painter based in New York City.
Huang paintings are a critique of female stereotypes, racism, and the influence of advertising media, language, and local culture.
Her work considers the youth of today, who are often depressed about life or overly pursuing vague philosophies.
These analyses are all told through cartoonish characters with bright colors, glittery accents and a humorous gaze.
The artist tells us a bit about her work:
My work critiques female stereotypes, while exploring popular culture, language, and my personal experience as a foreigner living in NY, all while using characters painted in bright colors, glittery accents, and with a humorous gaze.
In my paintings, characters are painted in an innocent or childish way, but the images are full of sexual innuendo. The purpose is to draw the viewer's attention while also challenging them to consider deeper issues. I want to highlight the contradictions and complexities of societal expectations around gender, culture, and language.
This is a series of paintings using acrylics, glitter, and oil pastels. The main content will be an extension of myself, based on my personal experience and different regional cultures and languages.
I like to use various totems in my current work, and I think they are even symbolic. I use glitter because it represents a false preciousness. It sparkles differently than gold or jewels. When glitter reflects the light, it gives a sense of magic, transporting us to an early age of fairy tale dreams, hopes, and possibilities.
In my childhood memories, all princesses and girls were dressed in glittering gowns. However, the only power was love and magic.
For example "I will handle your cake, 2022"
This painting explores a fascinating topic - how language can be interpreted differently based on gender and cultural differences. When I asked my partner, who is from LA, to buy me a piece of cake on the way home, he said, "I will handle your cake." However, we have different interpretations of the meaning of such a phrase. I thought he was saying he would buy me a cake, while he thought it was flirting. Because “cake” is also a term for butt.
The inclusion of the reflection being totally wrong in the mirror adds another layer to the painting, highlighting the difficulty of discerning truth and authenticity in the age of social media and fake news, the complexities of communication, and the challenges we face in trying to navigate and make sense of the world around us.
Also, the lipstick writing on the mirror emphasizes the female stereotypes that are often seen in the movie. By using humor, playfulness, and a touch of irony, I created a commentary on the challenges of living in an interconnected world where language and culture can collide and intersect in unexpected ways.
Images and text courtesy the artist.
Caption 1: The Power of Love and Magic, 2023 | Glitter, Oil pastel, Acrylic on canvas | 20”x24”
Caption 2: Threesomegirl, 2023 | Glitter, oil pastel, Acrylic on canvas | 30”x40”
Caption 3: Dad, I got a mixed girlfriend, 2023 | Glitter, oil pastel, Acrylic on canvas | 60”x72”