Gallery Openings and Events

The Fred Schnider Gallery of Art Presents Chee-Keong Kung Escape Velocity

Chee-Keong Kung, High Noon Overdrive II (Dispersion No 30), 2019 Ink & acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 in. Courtesy of the Fred Schnider Gallery of Art.

.
Opening Reception: Friday, June 14 from 6pm to 8pm
.

The Fred Schnider Gallery of Art (888 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA) will showcase its newest exhibit, Escape Velocity – abstract paintings on canvas by Singapore-born artist Chee-Keong Kung. Kung is influenced by his formal education in art and architecture as well as his upbringing in multi-ethnic Singapore. Kung embraces influences from traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy, the pace and intensity of the digital age, as well as images of buildings under construction (or destruction). Kung’s works are in private, corporate and institutional collections, including The National Museum Art Gallery of Singapore and The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Chee-Keong Kung’s practice grows out of his formal education in art and architecture as well as his upbringing in multi-ethnic Singapore. Hard-edge geometry and gestural mark-making are integral parts of Kung’s evolving visual vocabulary that is informed by our shared cultural climate, observations from the natural and man-made environments and childhood memories. He embraces influences from traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy, the pace and intensity of the digital age, as well as images of buildings under construction (or destruction).

Kung finds gratification in the complexity and ambivalence that is generated from juxtaposing opposing formal elements including line, form, color, contrast and space. Created out of a process that is part discovery and part invention, his layered paintings are inquiries into the interactions between light and shadow, depth and flatness and motion and stillness. Recurring motifs of clouds and smoke reflect his childhood in Singapore where he lived in high-rises and always had a view of the sky and clouds. Kung recalls frequent visits to Taoist temples that were filled with impenetrable dark shadows, colorful religious iconography and smoke from incense and burnt offerings which infused the senses. The burning and fire created captivating embers and swirls of smoke which rose up into the sky, invoking mythologies that are still present and vital; those enchanting swirls are woven into his paintings.

“I find that works can accrue structure and meaning only through the application of time and full measures of attention,” says Kung. “The finished work is not so much a goal, but rather a pictorial accumulation of intention, curiosity and happenstance. More often than not, the most satisfying works are those that end up in entirely unexpected places.”

Kung’s works are in private, corporate and institutional collections, including The National Museum Art Gallery of Singapore and The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Kung studied art and architecture at the University of Houston and real estate at Cornell University. He now lives and works in McLean, VA.

An opening reception will be held Friday, June 14, 2019 from 6-8 p.m. with the exhibit—which is open to the public—running through August 19, 2019. Kung is available for interviews; special events and artist talks to be announced. More info at www.fredschnidergalleryofart.com.

The Fred Schnider Gallery of Art is located at 888 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA.