'Transfer of Power' is Cheung's debut exhibition in LA and includes work from the past 10 years. The exhibition features elaborate combinations of painted lion dancers, bull riders, AR showers of Bitcoin, digitally distorted landscapes, megacities composed of sand and spray paint, and ornate traditional Chinese window frames built from financial newspapers. Here, complex amalgamations of traditional forms and technologically advanced systems collide to interrogate the forces behind global financial crises, the rise and fall of Superpowers, the movement of global capital, and investment in cryptocurrency. It results in a searing critique of some centralised banks' response to the COVID-19 2020 recession: to simply print more money.
Cheung tackles these complex ideas through work that is deliberately wide-ranging. Encompassing painting, sculpture, work on paper, video and augmented reality his work evades definition precisely because he is interested in the 'complex flow of information that forms Utopias and Dystopias wherever capital accumulates'. He seeks out the slippages that take place when histories are told, capital is transferred, data saturates, news stories are broadcast, and images are mediated.
Often these interests cause a partial breakdown of the image, for example, where digital glitches are amplified and exaggerated, almost entirely obscuring the identities of a set of portraits, as in the series History Glitch. Digital manipulation functions differently in Beauty in Isolation. Here members of the public in lockdown were invited to send snapshots of idyllic scenery to Cheung who has then tampered with the images using digital software and algorithms to rearrange, corrupt and augment the originals. The result creates the effect of unsettling science-fiction dystopias, where the solidity of mountain ranges appear to melt, clouds erupt into waterfalls, and the ripples of water are stretched out and pixelated.
In collaboration with Coates & Scarry and International Chinese Fine Arts Council (ICFAC).