The launch night of Sonia Pang's exhibition got off to a roaring start with a surprise performance from the Imperial College Chinese Lion Dance! Attendees jumped back in awe, rushing for their camera phones as the eight-strong team of dancers exploded into the lobby bar.
Pang's exhibition "Ode To Haringey" presented a series of etchings and giclées depicting local characters in their pedestrian environs or working environments, celebrating the diversity of Wood Green's residents. From proud shopkeepers to nonplussed dry cleaners, impassive local creatives and distracted commuters... it was a fun and fascinating set of images.
Twelves prints sold on the opening night alone, with 15% of the proceeds going to Pang's chosen charity Action For Kids.
Sonia Pang is a Central St. Martins graduate who forged a successful career in animation and branding, working for prestigious studios such as Turner Broadcasting, Why Not Associates and Nexus Films for end clients as broad as Cartoon Network and The Ministry of Defence! (We'll be looking out for Sonia Pang touches at the MoD when we finally get that phone call from Ralph Fiennes)
The hand-crafted, individually-inked pieces in this exhibition were therefore a welcome contrast for Pang to work on. The prints have a timelessness to them, or a sense that they could be from another part of the globe, and this for Pang affirms how diverse Haringey is. She moved into the area with her British-Indian husband six years ago when they fell in love with a rundown Victorian house going cheap on the market. Their friend Matthew Freefold (of Freefold Architects)helped them to renovate the property where they are now raising two young boys.
"We are both avid foodies actually" says Sonia, "so that was a major attraction for us moving into the area. Our children are mixed race so it was essential for us to live in an area where they would integrate easily. There's a real co-existence here in Haringey which is entirely modern and inspirational. The gentleman at the shop calls my eldest "Bosss" when we go in and for me that's a very Haringey kind of thing!
Guests were treated to a special DJ set from DK KWAME, the dance music alter-ego of local legend Peter Adjaye. It was funk and soul on the night, warming up into a disco set. When he's not getting Wood Greeners stomping, Adjaye is a serious player on North London's music scene, a forming member of Runaways and also the co-founder of Ultimate Dilemma Recordings. His project “Music for Architecture” was inspired by his architect brother David Adjaye’s buildings and received critical acclaim. David, incidentally, was given a knighthood this year - so there's much to celebrate around the Adjaye family's dining table!
"AN ODE TO HARINGEY - THE PORTRAITS OF SONIA PANG" is on display in our lobby bar gallery until February. All work is for sale, priced between £35-£255 with 15% of proceeds going to Action For Kids.