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Artist Andrew Thomas Huang Talks Community Support, Grammys, and more – ARTnews.com
Best known for his music videos for Björk and FKA twigs, artist and director Andrew Thomas Huang works across mediums, from animation puppetry to virtual reality. “We have so much art to make to imagine a new world for ourselves,” Huang recently told Brooke Jaffe for “ARTnews Live,” our ongoing IGTV series of interviews with a range of creatives.
Huang’s collaboration with Björk began in 2012 when the singer-songwriter reached out to him after seeing his short film Solipsist (2012), which quickly led to two collaborating later that year. “We did our first collaboration [for] ‘Mutual Core’ from her album Biopholia, so that was my first music video for her,” he said. “I’m the biggest Bjork fan and it was a dream to do it.” They have continued to collaborate over the years, which led to Haung’s work being included in the Björk’s 2015 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, including screenings of their VR project Stonemilker in MoMA PS1’s VW Dome.
More recently, Huang has been active during lockdown working on a project is with Google Creator Labs. Google reached out to “creative underrepresented voices,” Huang said, that culminated in a series of shorts, shot with the new Google phone, that revolved around the idea of helpfulness.
For the collaboration, Huang shot Lily Chan and the Doom Girls, inspired by his mother’s childhood growing up as an Asian-American teenager in Los Angeles in the 1960s. With the project, Huang re-created scenes and imagery similar to those that his mother and her friends experienced in the ’60s, while also highlighting the Asian LGTBQ+ community during the era.
Huang said that images are centered around the idea of intracommunity support. “I’ve just really been inspired by the work that my artist peers have been doing, which is just shedding light on community work that needs to be done to uplift each other,” Huang said. “When we say pure mutuality, it’s this idea that we directly help each other.”
Last year, Huang was nominated for a Grammy for directing the music video for FKA twigs’ song “Cellophane,” which he explained as being about life’s journey. “The music video is basically a story about the strive for perfection and the fall from grace,” Huang said. “It’s about failure, and it’s about someone striving to be everything to everybody and not feeling like enough, and then being humbled and being put back together.”