Monsters at Modern Times

BY ED FELIEN

What is this guy thinking?

Raj Bunnag makes monsters come alive and leap off the page at you, and he uses pen and ink, black on white printmaking and wood block carvings to create a horror that seems lurking behind the public manners of everyday life. The horror seems to echo past excesses of lost Eastern empires, but it also seems current and familiar. The monster could be your neighbor, your car mechanic, your bus driver. By making them seem familiar, Bunnag makes them seem manageable, “Oh, a monster, yes, but I’ve dealt with him before.”

From Montgomery College Insights: “Bunnag earned a BFA in printmaking from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), cum laude. He helps run a fine art, community-based print shop in North Carolina, participates in juried printmaking exhibitions, teaches printmaking, and mentors upcoming artists. This spring, he was the featured artist at RUNAWAY, a Durham shop/gallery. The fact that Bunnag is making a career in fine art printing is what impresses Carr [Montgomery College Art Professor John Carr] most: ‘You don’t see jobs in the world of printmaking advertised in the Washington Post.’”

Some of Bunnag’s more transportable monsters will be on display at Modern Times Café, 3200 Chicago Ave. S., through January.

Photo by Scott Ponemone

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