Holly Wong

Contact Information:

email: Holly Wong
website: www.artincontext.org


Artist Statement:

My project entitled “Rape of the Congo” consists of a series of 10 oil stick paintings regarding the tragic resource war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Each painting in the series will measure 3’ x 4’ and is intended to represent the deeply painful and profound experiences of civilians living among the chaos of the ongoing war and genocide. I was shocked to learn that over 5 million people had died in the DRC since the start of the 1998 civil war, and that at least 40,000 women and girls had been raped and tortured with the numbers continuing to climb. In addition, as many as 30,000 children have been enslaved as fighters or sexual slaves to regional militias.

Art can serve as a window on the pain of those that are unseen, and thus can hold the promise of moving people to take action. My goal in making this series of work is to show the suffering from many differing viewpoints: the rape victim, the child soldier, the aid worker, the orphan, the elderly and the refugee. I take a highly personal approach to my subjects and tend to focus on the psychological condition people are in as well as the physical, using marks that describe how people feel inside, not just how they appear. My proposed paintings will each consist of 1-3 figures in a variety of settings including burned villages, barren fields, refugee camps, and aid centers. It will express the Congolese as true survivors and reveal the tenderness, the courage, and the dignity of these human beings living under conditions that few can dare imagine.

My intention is for the viewer to feel a sense of interconnectedness to the Congolese and to the Third World in general, since the First World benefits so inequitably from their resources.

"Survivors" (2007)
23" x 30" Oil paint stick on paper

"Aid Worker" (2007)
23" x 30" Charcoal on paper

"Father and Daughter" (2006)
23" x 30" Oil paint stick on paper

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