Chee Keong Kung
Tambourine Freefall V (Dispersion No. 36)
Ink and acrylic on canvas
28″ x 22″
I work with an evolving vocabulary that is born out of memory, intuition, and our shared concrete and cultural environments. Recurring motifs of clouds and smoke recall my upbringing in Singapore, where I lived in high-rises and windows opened onto views of the sky. They also remind me of incense smoke in Taoist temples that are filled with impenetrable dark shadows and colorful religious iconography. Visual remnants from the pace and intensity of daily living and the media also find their way into the work.
In a process that is part discovery and part invention, hard-lined geometry and improvisational brushwork are applied in layers, modifying and obscuring earlier marks. Each gesture begets new trajectories that propel the work forward. This process would continue until the work achieves an internal logic and a level of density that can stand up to repeated and prolonged viewing.
I find that works can accrue structure and meaning only through the application of time and full measures of attention. Very often, the most satisfying pieces are those that end up in entirely unexpected places. Part of the allure of painting is finding places that I do not already know.