Gordon Cheung, The Grand Hack, 2004, financial times, acrylic, spray paint and ink on canvas, 75 x 100 cm,29 1/2 x 39 1/2
'Essentially my paintings reflect the techno sublime, where information overwhelms the individual, causing a flickering perception of realities', says Cheung, who presents his first solo show at Houldsworth this Autumn.
'Hollow Sunsets' are a way of seeing the world through the removed visions of cyberspace – virtual landscapes that collapse culture and distance. Influenced by his residencies in Japan, Pakistan and at the Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester, Cheung continually re-evaluates the idea of place and identity as challenged through globalisation. The resulting images reflect the fascinating contradictions and complexities of a world were Hello Kitty and Planet of the Apes merge with palm trees and housing blocks.
Using a complex mix of acrylic gel, spray paint, collage from the Financial Times, computer manipulated imagery and Chinese ink drawing, Cheung creates surfaces as compelling as the array of images that haunt them. The splashes of smooth luminous spray paint jar against a dizzying flow of collaged numbers that merge with the black and white images of awe inspiring environments. The use of the Financial Times listings has a duel purpose; it at once offers a dense indecipherable background to the work and at the same time represents the growing global geographies of economic and technological communities.
Punky images and meticulous collage make up Cheung's schizophrenic landscapes of colliding dream-worlds, that oscillate between the utopic and dystopic. As one approaches the landscapes the images dissolve into distinct parts each becoming strangely flat. The illusory surfaces reduce to planes of material and texture, a crucial move to fracture the seductively bizarre world Cheung creates, allowing us to reflect on the increasingly virtual environments that we inhabit.
Gordon Cheung graduated from The Royal College, 2001. Cheung is currently showing at the Liverpool Biennale and in the past year he has completed art residencies in Japan, Pakistan and UK. In 2003 he received the Arts Council England International Art Award and the British Council International Arts Award and this year Cheung was a finalist in the Lexmark European Art Prize 2003, Pizza Express Prospects Prize 2004, BOC Award 2004 and Jerwood Drawing Prize 2004. Last year he showed in 'Yes, I am a Long Way from Home', Nunnery, London (inc catalogue), Toured: Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Herbert Read Gallery, Canterbury and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland (with Peter Doig, Paul Morrison, George Shaw, and others), One Day', Gallery Coridoor, Iceland, Perspectives', Galerie Koch, Germany, Collage', Bloomberg Space, London with Chris Ofili, Frank Stella, Richard Prince, Robert Rauchenberg and others) Stray Show', Chicago. He has also exhibited in many national exhibitions including Unscene', Gasworks, London (inc catalogue), 2002 'CD1', Marlborough Fine Arts, London (inc catalogue) 2001. Forthcoming exhibitions include 'Thermo at The Lowry and a major solo show at the Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester in 2006.