Thomas C. Chung
Born in Hong Kong in 1981, Thomas C. Chung lives and works in Australia and Scandinavia. He graduated with a BFA in 2004 from the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales.
Since graduating, Chung has held a number of solo exhibitions and been awarded artist residencies in the USA, Sweden, Finland and Norway. Initially trained in drawing and painting, Chung has broadened his unique visual language to encompass sculpture and photography, his projects often culminating in detailed installations that extend a participatory narrative.
Chung is devoted to labor-intensive and handmade processes. His attention to detail is perhaps a clue to negotiating his subjects, culled from memories, relationships, and folk tales. He alludes to a quiet voice in his works that is both quizzical and earnest. While this sincerity can appear in contrast to his playful aesthetic, the detailed textures of Chung’s paintings, and knitted sculptures reward closer inspection. Although there is a readily digestible quality to the artist’s cake-like paintings, or banquets of food rendered in wool, it soon becomes apparent as in a fairy tale, that all is not what it seems.
There is a conundrum suggested by this innocent vocabulary and although mannered from a child’s perspective, Chung’s works reveal an anxiety that simultaneously recalls a loss and hope within their suspended present.