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Hsiao-Ron Cheng (Illustrator)

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From the light touch of the color against the harsh white background, to the feminine and slender fingers glazed about the rough glass pieces, Hsiao-Ron Cheng depicts a successful visual summarization in this commissioned piece for Delve Weekly on the film “Mommy” (2014). Directed by Xavier Dolan, the film tells of a single widow’s struggle to raise her son, a violent and dicey teenager who is soon given hope by a new neighbor. A dramatic plot given light by the in depth trials and emotional strains presented in the characters themselves.

Cheng depicts Steve, the “difficult” son in the movie, as a soft being despite his hard and sharp edges. Cracked and shattered glass litter his image as his eyes, glassy and empty, stare back at the viewer as they challenge yet plead for help from those witnessing the work in progress that is his reconstruction. The jagged edges of his broken pieces are contradicted by the softness of his own physicality and flesh. Steve’s almost pale complexion resides in meaning with the calmness of his intact hair and slightly furrowed eyebrows. His angelic coldness seeps through the danger he has cloaked himself in.

This theme of gentleness is further emphasized by the dainty hands caressing both, Steve’s broken pieces as well as the corners of the page. Dazzling rings of femininity line the maternal grasps on white cloths, representing cleanliness as two right hands clean up the mess that is this young man. These two right hands present the mother and the helping hand of the neighbor, Kyla, in the film. This is also shown in the differences of the nail polish on the hands as well as the lonely wedding band on the lower hand showing the hesitance and caring touch of Steve’s mother. It makes one think about how successful you can really be at cleaning up a shattered image with such a gentle manner–taking the time to carefully put these pieces back together and create a better version of the image than before.

You may also recognize Hsiao-Ron Cheng’s style as that which is present in Troye Sivan’s album covers for both WILD and his recent release Blue Neighbourhood

(more interesting works by Hsiao-Ron Cheng)




Album cover for Caro’s single “Imaginary Flower”

Source: Blame 1989

Hsiao-Ron Cheng (Illustrator)

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