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JH

Fu-On Chung Paintings

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Installation of Fu-On Chung's exhibition, Talisman, upstairs at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Fu-On Chung, Oceans, Anchors and Time, 2022, acrylic and oil on canvas, 380 x 330 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Fu-On Chung, And we never looked back, 2022, acrylic and oil on canvas, 380 x 330 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Installation of Fu-On Chung's exhibition, Talisman, upstairs at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Fu-On Chung, Orbs, 2022, acrylic and oil on canvas, 1200 x 1000 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Fu-On Chung, Curtains, 2022, oil on canvas, 600 x 500 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Fu-On Chung, Lakes and Rifts, 2022, acrylic and oil on canvas, 380 x 330 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Installation of Fu-On Chung's exhibition, Talisman, upstairs at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett Fu-On Chung, Clouds, 2022, acrylic and oil on canvas, 1200 x 1000 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Fu-On Chung, Talismans, 2022, acrylic and oil on canvas, 380 x 330 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett Fu-On Chung, Impasse, 2022, acrylic and oil on canvas, 380 x 330 mm. Photo: Sam Hartnett

While delicate in texture, tonal contrasts and rich sumptuous colour give these works a distinctively dramatic sensuality, for there is throughout a sense of painted veils or ribbons of dyed gauze, while the dark blue and purple colour has a regal and otherworldly ambience. They are moody, dreamlike and pleasantly escapist, gripping the imagination.

Auckland

 

Fu-On Chung
Talisman


22 April - 28 May 2022

Six small oil and acrylic abstractions and two larger works by the painter Fu-On Chung are currently on display upstairs at Two Rooms. Intricately nuanced with layers of very thin paint, these expressionist / symbolist canvases feature glowing circular and vesica piscus shapes (possibly the supernatural stones of the title), and the occasional curved hooked configuration, often accompanied by a sense of underwater landscape. Other works hint at ‘drier’ plein air versions of gridded architecture.

While delicate in texture, tonal contrasts and rich sumptuous colour give these works a distinctively dramatic sensuality, for there is throughout a sense of painted veils or ribbons of dyed gauze, while the dark blue and purple colour has a regal and otherworldly ambience. They are moody, dreamlike and pleasantly escapist, gripping the imagination.

The variation in size brings a nice dynamic to the hang, while manipulating the zigzagging movement of the viewer along the narrow space. One small pale work on the end wall has a hotter, drier, chalkier feel (quite different from the darker liquidy rest which make you feel as if you are peering into an aquarium, or floundering around at night) flowerier, and with an atypical aerial perspective.

Their cultivated ambiguity about figurative interpretation creates much merry confusion, hinting at Surrealism. One work shows an apartment with curtains that can also be a modernist high-rise. Another seems to be a tower-block (that could also be a necklace of jewels) at the bottom of the sea. Many of the paintings have a filmic quality possibly alluding to legends or myths or ancient Greek ruins. Strange though it seems, others refer to ‘proper’ modernist landscape abstraction like that of Diebenkorn’s parkscapes. Or kitschy postcards with whimsical fairground carousels.

An eccentric, very layered, imposing mix that is compellingly atmospheric.

John Hurrell

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