Hanna Moon and Joyce Ng challenge notions of East and West

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Hong Kong-native Joyce Ng and South Korean-born Hanna Moon are both London-based, Asian, millennial fashion photographers who have shot for titles like Dazed, i-D and British Vogue. But, if you ask them, that’s where their similarities end.

“I mean, we’re so different. We argue so much,” jokes Moon. “We’re from two different countries. I’ve never been to Hong Kong. We don’t speak the same language.”

“Face Value” for Numéro China (2018) by Joyce Ng Credit: Courtesy Joyce Ng

However, since first meeting at Central Saint Martins almost a decade ago, the two have become like sisters, navigating the fashion and art worlds in tandem and confronting familiar stereotypes and cultural differences along the way.

“We can be really sympathetic (to one another) — how she came here at 17 and how I came here not speaking English. We know how much the other suffered,” Moon says. “In everyday life, you do experience certain things as an Asian girl living in Europe and in the same industry, so maybe that’s our common thing, rather than our character or personality, because of our race.”

River for Boom Boom, Re-edition, Issue 2 (2015) by Hanna Moon

River for Boom Boom, Re-edition, Issue 2 (2015) by Hanna Moon Credit: Courtesy Hanna Moon

This experience of shared otherness is at the center of wryly titled “Hanna Moon and Joyce Ng: English as a Second Language,” their newly opened exhibition at London’s historic Somerset House. A combination of site-specific projects and images from their individual archives that blend Eastern and Western aesthetics,…

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