Seong Moy (1921-2013) immigrated from China to the United States when he was ten years old. He worked for the Federal Arts Project of the Depression era Works Project Administration and served in the Army during WWII as an aerial photographer. He received a fellowship to Stanley William Hayter’s infamous Atelier 17 in 1948, where he intensively studied printmaking.
Moy created Lovers in Flight in 1952 while while living in Minnesota. The woodcut is distinctly Abstract Expressionist with flowing, lyrical lines, subtle use of color, and abstracted subject matter that only vaguely suggests two lovers “in flight.” The figure to the left with a breast in side view appears to be a woman. Another ambiguous figure has a bundle of circular lines and sprouting shapes in detail one. The red area in the “detail 2” is rendered with small cut marks and contained in thick black lines. This could be the shared heart of the lovers. Other areas in the frenetic scene hint at hands and legs. The colors and the way they generate fragmented, implied movement in this work are common in Moy’s other prints of the period.