Galerie du Monde presents, Fong Chung-Ray – A Retrospective, showcasing 33 important works from 1965 to the present in Hong Kong. Fong was a member of the Fifth Moon Group, and is a leading figure in the modernization of traditional Chinese ink. The retrospective traces the complete trajectory of Fong’s creative practice and the expansive scope of his historical periods. Fong Chung-Ray – A Retrospective showcases the distinct periods of a great leader in Chinese abstraction. The exhibition will be on view from May 7 – June 10, 2015.
Breaking from Tradition
Over six breathtaking decades, Fong has demonstrated a sustained dedication to abstraction, stemming from his pioneering undertakings in his early career. In the 1950s, the centuries-old philosophy of natural landscape copy practice continued to dominate Chinese ink painting discourse. Fong and his contemporaries strived to deviate from the burden of China’s history, founding the Four Seas Artists Association and leading artistic innovation of the period. Rooted in traditional painting teachings, the artists expanded the scope of Chinese paintings into the practice of abstraction. In 1961, Liu Kuo-sung invited Fong to join the seminal Fifth Moon Group, leaving an indelible impression on the course of Chinese contemporary art. From 1964 to 1975, Fong ceased to represent the ephemeral world in his painting, instead pursuing his inner reality, an essence that has since defined contemporary Taiwanese art.
Innovation in Medium
Innovation continues to be central to Fong’s artistic practice. By 1966 Fong had developed new mixed media textures, using a printer’s brayer roll, acrylic and ink that have become a characteristic trait of his work. Upon emigrating to America in 1975, Fong entered a new period focusing intently on texture and new mediums creating a new body of collage works in the 1980s. Discovering new effects of paint and ink whilst creating textures with levels of viscosity, by 1990 he was also experimenting with layering acrylic on plastic film and transferring to the canvas as the starting point of his creation. Acrylic collages afforded greater freedom to experiment with color, layers and patterns, allowing Fong to pursue constant innovation.
Fong Chung-Ray – A Retrospective will include the newest works by Fong, which have not been exhibited to the public. Fong’s study of Buddhist teachings appear in the oeuvre from his recent years, reconciling the philosophy that metaphysical existence is nothing more than a fleeting disillusion. By contrast, a constant reality lies beneath the surface of the world and is yet to be explored by individuals through meditation, which expresses itself in the form of artistic practice in Fong’s case. Scholar Mark Dean Johnson has hailed the artist’s newest works as “among his most powerful”, stating that the recent large format painting 14-37 as “both philosophically engaging and represents a great pinnacle…is a high point in the development of Chinese abstraction”
Galerie du Monde presents a complete documentation of Fong’s long creative career and an important historical exhibition of modern Chinese abstraction. Fong Chung-Ray – A Retrospective is a poetic mirror of the pivotal developments in painting from China,inviting the audience to contemplate the state of peace art has brought Fong.