I'm thrilled to now contribute to the PaintGuide community. @PaintGuide has over 340,000 followers on Instagram, and I'll be writing for its offshoot, @PaintGuid_er. Taken from the @PaintGuid_er Instagram account, the first artist whom I profile is Gordon Cheung:
The work of London-based Gordon Cheung traverses media and genre as seamlessly as it traverses the artist’s dual cultures. Cheung’s works (sculpture, painting, photography and digital) are luscious, yet possess muted moments; he strikes a balance between deliberation and liberation, his imagery authentic, perhaps autobiographical, yet its placement and organization is pensive. Their lines blur (both metaphorically and actually) between representation and abstraction, finesse and tangibility.
Cheung describes his identity as British-born Chinese as “both and neither at the same time.” Within his works, primarily his heavily--yet unconventionally--collaged paintings, one simultaneously observes the interplay of pattern and texture associated with English tapestries alongside the ephemera and fluidity of Chinese brush work. Two symmetrical, rearing horses dominate his painting, The City of Palaces, demonstrating how Cheung skillfully utilizes symbolism conventional in those cultures as well: horses feature heavily in Chinese mythology and the English pastoral, both connoting nobility. This sophisticated duality dominates his imagery, and each body of work--while seemingly disparate at first--blend and blur to form the syncretism of Cheung’s voice.
A graduate of Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art, Cheung’s work neither underestimates the cognizance of his viewer nor requires the viewer to be fluent in the clipped tones of today’s art world. As such, perhaps this relationship with the viewer mirrors Cheung’s intertwining of his two cultures: his work is democratic, willing to intelligently engage with anyone, much as his multicultural motifs so adeptly engage with one another.
Posted April 18, 2018.