Wandering through Illusions: Wong Chung-yu

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 September, 2008, 12:00am

Grotto Fine Art From tomorrow-Oct 11

Wong Chung-yu's artistic career was born out of curiosity. After graduating from the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a bachelor's degree in computer sciences in 1999, and then a master's in the same subject three years later, he took his first drawing course at the age of 20 - just to see what it was like. He was hooked.

'After I took my first art course, step by step, I moved further on to study watercolours and the fundamentals of Chinese painting,' the multi-media artist says.

In 2001, Wong became a student of Wucius Wong, a traditional Chinese ink painter who was among the first artists to bring geometry and design into traditional landscapes.

Wong Chung-yu had always considered science and the arts as two distinct areas of study but the older artist's works convinced him it was possible to combine both.

'My teacher emphasised the concept that I can make a cross-over with science and art. Then I started to think about incorporating computer-generated images into traditional Chinese art.'

Wong's latest exhibition features a dozen of his painting and multi-media works. Mini Pieces (2002-2003) combines bold brush strokes of blues, greens and greys with collages of newspaper clippings and scraps of images and text. The World series (2006-2007) integrates fictional architecture and geometric illusion using controlled, muted, monochromatic soft and flat landscape painting. In all his works Wong uses traditional materials and formats, such as rice paper and the scroll, to incorporate his vision of the fictional world of hard lines encompassed by organic forms.

In Memory of Stars (2008) Wong dramatically combines science and art, using computer technology and traditional painting in an engaging multi-media installation. Two projected 'paintings' feature moving images and video clips alongside static traditional ink paintings. It is a bold statement comparing present realities with nostalgic scenes of the past.

For Wong, this recent evolution combining traditional artistic style and form with computer-generated imagery has added a new dimension to his artistic growth and expression.

'I found that drawing realistic paintings is not the only way to do art,' he says. 'Sometimes I can be more experimental or abstract. I have allowed myself to explore non-realistic approaches to art.'

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