'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.
Want to learn more about the ideas and techniques behind the work? Check out Gordon Cheung and Richard Scarry's IG live walkthrough here.
About Gordon Cheung
Born 1975 in London to Chinese parents, contemporary multi-media artist Gordon Cheung has developed an innovative approach to making art, which blurs virtual and actual reality to reflect on the existential questions of what it means to be human in civilisations with histories written by victors. Cheung raises questions and critique’s the effects of global capitalism, its underlying mechanisms of power on our perception of identity, territory and sense of belonging. These narratives are refracted through the prisms of culture, mythology, religion, and politics into dreamlike spaces of urban surreal worlds that are rooted in his in-between identity.
Cheung graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting in 1998 from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London and earned his Masters of Fine Arts in 2001 from the Royal College of Art in London. Select solo shows include Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall UK, The Light that Burns Twice as Bright, Alan Cristea Gallery, London UK, Here Be Dragons, Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Nottingham, UK and New Order Vanitas, Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, West Palm Beach, FL, USA. His works are held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., the Whitworth Art Museum in Manchester, Royal College of Art in London, and the British Museum, amongst others. He lives and works in London.
About Coates & Scarry
Coates & Scarry was established in 2012. They work collaboratively with artists, institutions, galleries and other organisations on projects internationally.
Dean Coates and Richard Scarry share experience of working for commercial and community based arts organisations. They have worked on projects with with The Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, The Royal West of England Academy, Bristol and Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery.
About International Chinese Fine Arts Council
International Chinese Fine Arts Council is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Chinese Diaspora creative community.
Run by a team of passionate volunteers in the United States and beyond, ICFAC strives to utilize its platform to support, engage, and connect Overseas Chinese creatives, art owners, and art lovers to better resources and representation through creating opportunities, producing artistic and cultural content and programming, stimulate conversation around important social issues, and facilitate positive change.
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