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Dony Cheng Hung: Elaboration of the reflected lights

12 February 2022 - 12 March 2022



Dony Cheng Hung has a talent for observing the various forms of light and shadow that appear within the urban structure. The artist considers the linkage between ‘light’ and ‘space’ in the urban landscape, and the changes that affect their visual manifestation and transformation in the passage of time. Using a combination of soft pastel, charcoal, acrylic and colour ink, Cheng creates smooth painted surfaces, in the space of which emerges all kinds of refracted light and light sources that can be found everywhere.

The spaces and details in Cheng’s works are all drawn from real life, from places the artist frequents or observes on a daily basis. Yet the familiar details in the real world, such as the forms of buildings, signs, objects, material textures, etc. are all erased from the painting, so that the pictorial world becomes an abstract, dematerialised static space.

The ‘light’ in the works is not only a physical object, but also a symbol that determines the nature of the space, such as the sparkling light waves on the sea’s surface, the tile-shaped light slabs on the road’s surface, or the light and shadow diamonds spilled into the room through the window frame, constantly morphing with the flow of time. Through various vessels, immaterial light is given different shapes and forms. In the paintings, the source of light are deliberately muddled, Cheng plays with the distance and intensity of light in her imagination. Amidst the pitch black of City Lake, the light body which constitutes the focal point, and the water’s surface reflecting the light from illumination, are abstracted.

Cheng’s recent works focus more on reconstructing the artist’s impression of the urban space, as well as the various lights and shadows she has encountered, combined with fantasy, into synthetic landscapes. During the creative process, Cheng alters the rules of manifestation of real space in the pictorial space: Lights and shadows, the immaterial and the material are reversed, and the lines separating the interior and exterior become ambiguous. At the same time, the overall structure of the space also changes with the brightness of the light source. In Inverted lake, the upper part of the painting evokes the twilight sky, the mirror-surface of the night sea, a ‘light’ that defines the pictorial space.

The spatial and visual influence of ‘temporality’ lies in the core of Cheng’s creation. In recent years, the artist has begun creating with video. For her, the medium confers temporality upon the pictorial surface, where ‘light’, ‘space’ and ‘time’ are more intimately connected. In the video work Moving Puddles, the forms of the moving and refracting light sources reflected on the sea’s surface are constantly changing, differing from the light body and yet are born of it. There are other computer generated ‘light surfaces’ of gradient colours, and simulated spaces transformed by moving lights, within which the shapes of ‘space’ and ‘light’ are endlessly changing like a looped video, all the while being in a constant state.


12 February 2022
12 March 2022
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