Christine Cheung

My work has grappled with the visual representation of places, often referring to daily anxieties, and impermanence of life – both in one’s identity and everyday choices in the medium of painting and drawing. Using a wide vocabulary of accidental and gestural, abstract expressionist mark making, my work attempts to encapsulate the world through the lens of a migratory and transitory viewpoint. Capturing the subjective grasp of place in this way calls into question issues of identity, nationalism, globalization and the simultaneous duality of the individual and collective gaze.

These particular works were completed in China during the 2008 Olympics. As a Chinese Canadian who was born and raised in Canada, I was interested in the tactile qualities of the place itself. I completed these paintings during my stay at Red Gate Residency, which was located next to Fei Jia Cun, in the North end of Beijing. I was primarily responding to the environmental and tactile cues of the place and the soft pastels of architectural advertisements around me. The paintings themselves are compressed spaces, with a kind of jostling relationship of the materials within them. For me, they also remind me of links to other places, including the UK. I was also experimenting with the idea of using giant brushes, as inspired from the calligraphic practitioners in Beijing parks.

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