Joyce Ng Numéro China Zhou Dong Yu

Hanna Moon & Joyce Ng: English as a Second Language

25 January – 28 April 2019



This winter, Somerset House presents Hanna Moon & Joyce Ng: English as a Second Language, a new photography exhibition celebrating the work of two of the most exciting photographers working in fashion today, Hanna Moon and Joyce Ng. In a rapidly changing British cultural landscape, English as a Second Language celebrates the vitality of international perspectives within our multi-cultural society.

English as a Second Language sees acclaimed Asian-born, London-based photographers Moon and Ng, responding directly to Somerset House’s historical setting with a new series of works commissioned by Somerset House. Employing an otherworldly and playful approach to their practice, they will incorporate visitors, cultural icons, fashion and their own cultural signifiers to present their unique take on Western aesthetics and fashion ideals.

Curated by Shonagh Marshall, the exhibition explores the artists’ feelings of being ‘lost in translation’, a feeling which as immigrants based here in the UK, informs Moon and Ng’s search for capturing beauty in the often overlooked and unseen narratives in our everyday lives. As two pioneering fashion photographers operating within the Western fashion system bringing distinct Asian perspectives to their work, the exhibition challenges the concept of ‘otherness’. The images will invite viewers to question what it means for artists to be labelled as ‘diverse’ when using models, props and locations native to their heritage, and to reflect upon the power fashion photography holds in shifting our perceptions of beauty, style and taste.

A rising star within today’s fashion landscape, Joyce Ng uses street-casted models, natural environments and props to create images which feel both familiar, yet surreal. For this exhibition, Joyce will cast solely from Somerset House’s vibrant community across a four-week period, inviting people that visit and inhabit the space to take part in a series of shoots on-site.

Critically acclaimed fashion photographer and founder of A Nice Magazine, Hanna Moon will similarly utilize the neo-classical architecture of Somerset House to capture imagery of her two muses; Moffy, from London, and Heejin, from South Korea, whom she shares with Joyce. Tender and intimate, the images will be taken in and around Somerset House’s public and hidden spaces.



Address:  Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

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Hanna Moon is an artist, photographer and creative interlocutor, born in South Korea, and based in London. Her first critically-acclaimed contribution to fashion culture was her launch of A Nice Magazine, created by Moon for her graduation from Central Saint Martins, London, in 2014.  Intentionally working with ideas and subjects outside of the conventions of fashion photography, Moon has defined herself as an important voice in the field. Breathing new life into fashion with her personal narratives and truths she creates images relevant to our times.  Her work has featured in AnOther Magazine, Arena Homme+, British Vogue, Dazed, i-D, The Gentlewoman, Self Service, M le Magazine du Monde, Modern Matter, and Re-Edition, constructing visual identities for brands including Adidas, Givenchy, Kenzo, Proenza Schouler, Stella McCartney, Stussy, Supreme, Topshop  and Versus Versace .


Joyce Ng is a London-based fashion photographer. She studied at Central Saint Martins, graduating in 2014. Joyce spent her youth in the multitude of sprawling malls throughout the city of formerly-colonised Hong Kong. In her images she constructs a play between reality and built environments, making subtle reference to vast array of product merchandising she grew up with. A surreal tone throughout, our eye is constantly drawn to something odd, be it a pagoda-shaped shadow to a giant papier maché head. Growing up watching tourists merge with mainlanders and fellow locals, she developed her eye for street casting – she has worked behind the scenes casting for brands like Wales Bonner. Creating fashion images for magazines including Modern Weekly, i-D, Dazed, Numero China, and for brands such as David Casavant Archive, Carhartt, Kenzo, Super Yaya and Sony Music, Joyce is an exciting rising star within the fashion landscape. 


Shonagh Marshall is an independent curator; her most recent project entitled Posturing explored the pose in contemporary fashion photography through exhibition, film commission by Coco Capitán and book. Previously at Somerset House where she curated Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!, Utopian Voices, Here and Now and Hair by Sam McKnight, her curatorial approach is centered on the role of fashion within contemporary culture and demystifying the process behind image- making.

English as a Second Language will be the next exhibition in the Charles Russell Speechlys Terrace Room Series, an ongoing partnership with the leading law firm to present a wide range of free exhibitions reflecting the broad interests of both organisations.


Inspiring contemporary culture

One of the city’s most spectacular and well-loved spaces, Somerset House is a new kind of arts centre in the heart of London, designed for today’s audiences, artists and creatives – an inspirational community where contemporary culture is imagined, created and experienced.

From its 18th Century origins, Somerset House has played a central role in our society as a place where our culture and collective understanding of the world is shaped and defined. In 2000, it began its reinvention as a cultural powerhouse and home for arts and culture today, creating unique and stimulating experiences for the public, bringing them into direct contact with ideas from the greatest artists, makers and thinkers of our time. Our distinctive and dynamic year-round programme spans the contemporary arts in all its forms, from cutting-edge exhibitions and installations to annual festivals, seasonal events in the courtyard including Film4 Summer Screen, Summer Series and Skate, and an extensive learning and engagement programme.

As well as welcoming over 3million visitors annually, Somerset House houses the largest and most diverse creative communities in the country – from one-person start-ups to successful creative enterprises including MOBO, British Fashion Council, Dance Umbrella, Improbable Theatre, Hofesh Shechter Company, and Dartmouth Films.

In 2016 we launched Somerset House Studios – a new experimental workspace connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences. Currently housing over 80 artists and Makerversity (a community of over 250 emergent makers), the Studios are a platform for the development of new creative projects and collaboration, promoting work that pushes bold ideas, engages with urgent issues and pioneers new technologies. 


Charles Russell Speechlys works with clients in the UK and throughout the world. Our lawyers are based in 11 locations across the UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and through each of these locations clients are able to access the full range of the firm’s skills and expertise

We have a broad range of skills and experience across the full spectrum of business and personal needs. This gives us a wider perspective, clear insight and a strongly commercial long-term view.

It has made us a leader in the world of dynamic growth and family businesses, and among the world’s leading creators and owners of private wealth and their families. Major corporates and institutions find our more considered and personal approach a refreshing alternative to conventional business law firms.