Memphis-based artists Kong Wee Pang and Jay Crum hope that their recent collaborations read like the visual equivalent of a game of hide-and-seek. "We hope that each time you look," Pang says, "you'll find things you haven't seen before. We hope you can explore."
The works, now on display at Crosstown Arts, grew out of a month the married couple spent in Southeast Asia, during which time they explored Vietnam's Mekong Delta and Pang's home country of Malaysia. Pang makes the trip home yearly, but she says that Crum's presence on this year's journey made her see things differently: "He would point out things I couldn't see, and I would point out things that he couldn't see."
Both artists turned their insights into a series of playful motifs, which recur throughout the exhibition: banana leaves, cats, DIY architecture, waves, cartoon-like eyes. Back at home, Pang and Crum would pass a sketchbook back and forth over the dinner table. The drawings, Pang says, can be a mirror of their personalities: "I am very impulsive. I am good at large shapes. Jay is good at the details."
Pang and Crum's experiences as designers (she works at archer>malmo; he has worked in fabric design) also shine through. In order to mount the show, they developed a unique hanging system for the work that mimics clothes-drying racks similar to ones they saw on their trip. "If there is one thing that we hope people will take away from this work," Pang says, "it is that you can be inventive."