Independent Hong Kong-based artist Lio Cheung’s first exhibition overseas in Malaysia is titled “Here I Stand”. The exhibition was recently launched at the G Art Gallery, G Hotel in George Town, Penang.
General Manager of G Hotel, Michael Hanratty said that the hotel is honored that an international artist has chosen the G Art Gallery to exhibit her controversial works.
LIO CHEUNG’S BACKGROUND
Lio Cheung’s artwork from paintings to sculptures are her attempts to explore the dimension of human consciousness; a relationship between human finitude and the society is a dialogue that questions the core values of the people living in the city of Hong Kong.
Cheung’s love and passion for art began as a child when her portrait was drawn by a stranger. Her fascination compelled her to draw on the walls of her home. Partly self-taught, she started to pick up techniques along the way and her love of art spilled over her work as a fashion designer.
A Fine Arts graduate from RMIT University, Cheung has an uncanny ability to sieve through all the noise that is Hong Kong; weave her way through such cultural disparity and to create art that is experimental. No matter how risky.
Her graduation project in 2010 was a Mixed Media in art and which incorporated many of her skills from her fashion design background. Her graduation exhibition was displayed at the Hong Kong Art Centre where she was selected as the “Cream of the Year” by Plum Blossoms Gallery, Hong Kong.
Down to earth and articulate, Cheung draws a lot of inspiration through her Christian faith, her daily life experiences and yet, she strives to express intangibles such as emotions, spirit, and rationality to provide depth and food for thought for her viewers.
LIO CHEUNG’S FORTE
Cheung’s forte is in her experimental expression in her usage of different elements to stitch her art pieces together.
Her interpretation of events political that affects all the people of Hong Kong is hidden cleverly in symbolism.
When viewed at a glance her art pieces are vibrantly colored and made of collages, painted on and even sewed. Cheung’s familiarity with handling different material and elements are a residue of her inherent design ability.
She was a fashion designer who incorporated art into her design and her graduation project was an installation displayed at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and was featured in the Oriental Post.
Cheung’s progress as an artist is reflected in her interpretation of art as a lifestyle, therapy, language, and a life’s journey.
Her study of the interior design of shopping malls in Hong Kong is interpreted and portrayed as ribbons which are translated into collages. Twisted and sinewy this conveyor belt of human traffic seems to exist above a subway, with constant movement to search, graze or gawk. The pattern language of Hong Kong mall culture becomes a virtual reality in her development of 2D into 3D collages.
Cheung’s live art demonstration is an outward expression of a deeply thought out process. Her handling of the spatula as she demonstrated a painting was controlled par excellence. She has obviously worked everything out in her mind’s eye. The squeezing of acrylic paint and mixing was for showmanship and her execution is precise and meticulous.
Such was her clarity albeit her initial nervousness.
Cheung’s quiet confidence in her handling of experimental elements started in her first project, a bamboo installation on a wall down a road that she stayed. The shadow are attempted was like a play with the Sun.
“I would bring a piece of paper on my way home, to record the shadows cast on the ground, hours by hours I would capture the dancing shadows. The flow of the wind and paper became a dialogue going back and forth with the sun.
Art is therapeutic for me. I could deal with the emotions of my childhood memories. I once store this in glass bottles sculptures,” Cheung reminisced.
Her attempt was to capture the “spirit” of Hong Kong people in the Umbrella Movement. Their demand for democracy and universal suffrage. This is an unmissable message about cultural identity during the Hong Kong protests of 2014.
Her use of threads to form a concave structure at the base of the hill represents the solidarity of people of Hong Kong looking up Lion Rock.
In this work, I drew inspiration from the One Country Two systems policy. In Hong Kong, the call is for universal suffrage from the protesters of the Umbrella Movement.
THE NEW CAMPSITE
The golden pieces scattered around represent the shattered 4 smaller golden stars on the China flag. This is meant to reflect the unity of the people.
Disunity is depicted as seen during the movement.
The differing and contrasting views of the people and the people (threads) form the fabric of Hong Kong society. They are separated by differing opinions. Blue and yellow. The blue is also alluding to the police force which played a huge part in the movement.
“Red Equals to Consumerism” is a piece where I drew inspiration from my career in the fashion industry. The clothes in this work are actually miniature replicas of actual clothing from major fashion labels. Red is the common theme. This is the phenomenon that all major brands in the world have started pandering to. The acid test is the tastes of the biggest consumer market in the world. China, “said Cheung.
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