PUBLISHED IN ISSUE 19
TEXT BY CLAIRE MILBRATH
Ram Han’s rendering of shine and glow will be the subject of contentious debate for centuries to come, the Arnolfini Portrait of our time. In the 15th Century, Jan van Eyck painted a portrait of a man and wife that would alter 2D art for the rest of time. Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait showed a picture-perfect, shining chandelier hanging above the couple, spurring dispute—was this level of accuracy humanly possible to render? The photo-realism of the light, paired with Eyck’s still-Medieval understanding of human forms, made for an other-worldly image. Ram Han is the modern-day Eyck, and her work is equally phantasmal.
Using AI-level illusionism, Han depicts odd symbols such as emoto-tronic furbies, Toys “R” Us receipts, and hyper-sexual female forms. Han says she draws from what makes her uncomfortable in society, in this case, the exploitation of the Asian female body. Despite superficial tendencies towards cuteness, Han’s sexualization of women feels like apocalypse pornography. The male species have been obliterated—their bodies too weak to process the now-toxic quality of air. Hyper-horny, intelligent women meet to exchange matching bio-modified bouquets of shimmering roses, before mating in their beautifully decorated, perfect pod.
© 2019 The Editorial Magazine