STATEMENT & BIO
pools meanings and provide directions to life, I believe. The door to this secret spot opens infrequently under the radar of the conscious mind. We could only tap into it through speed. My art has been a study leading towards extracting emotional imagery from this source. Concealed messages are found within the preliminary subconscious lines which seem nonsense at first sight. I use scribbles as a key to open up this safe and steal unique representational imagery.
Erik Cheung (www.erikcheung.ca), explores the diversity of lines throughout his career. Both his abstracts and representational works attempt to transcend viewers to his quest for an alternate grace, explorations, moments, metamorphosis, transitions and the subconscious… basically a side note to life.
He has a preference for high art and love of the Masters since the early University days. He believes an artist’s training should follow the footsteps of the predecessors instead of merely following the norm of the time. Pat Martin Bates, his supervising professor in his final year at the University of Victoria understood his need to address ‘art life’ over presentation styles. She nurtured and shadowed him to explore and assimilate in his personal pace.
Over the years, he followed the different art genres in history as he developed his own philosophy and outlook. Michelangelo, Monet, Schiele, Klimt, Hundertwasser, Joan Mitchell were then, one after another, his models to study from, but he always managed to grow out of each with a quality gained.
He was juried into the North Park Gallery exhibition in 1988 just upon graduation. Soon after, he relocated and took up an art teaching profession for 20 years in Hong Kong. During which time started his long list of art exhibitions on the side. While teaching students, he was exposed to calligraphy and various disciplines of designs. These knowledge were later adapted and applied into his life size drawings and paintings.
Over the teaching years, he travelled widely to France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Japan, China, the States and even Australia to expand his worldly view and mainly to see quality art in person. It was 2010 when he moved back to Canada for good. It was a time of change and so his art followed.
In the past years, his abstracts focused on clarity and were done in balanced harmony. They belong to Minimalism to the extent of applying only red, gold, and black while celebrating the concept of space, contrast and balance. His lines, both continuous and broken, speak of unity over direction. But the transitions did not stop there, abstraction was eventually a hindrance.
Realizing how mass produced abstracts are, he started to seek for an alternate perspective. By swinging the pendulum back into representational works, he resolved into presenting an inner landscape. The new attempts have become dreamy, surreal, expressive, bittersweet, narrative, hypnotic, loose and flowing, pondering. Lines in flourishes tie the composition with a subdued strength while the presentation balances on the verge of recognition.
He now resides in Edmonton as a local artist. Last year, he received the 150 in 150 award in the visual arts category and started showing his work at the Lotus Gallery. His artwork has been sold to private collectors in the U.S., Canada and Hong Kong over the years.
From automatic scribbles on the right to a finished product on the left, I did not render to make the images, I find them with my eyes. Unlike other artists who seek a compromising whole as each work is developing, my compositions are finished within seconds, only to await for cognitive aesthetic logic to highlight. My years of drawing experience help to make the most desirable choices along the way.