Inspirations - Christina Tung's Solo Exhibition
Having witnessed the tragic effects of deforestation bringing the loss of home and habitat to many different species, Hong Kong artist and gallery owner Christina Tung’s third solo exhibition, Inspirations, to be held 9-24 November 2018 at Cheer Bell Gallery, is a culmination of an evocative artistic journey.
Adopting the transitional Chinese technique of ink painting on hemp paper, Tung’s works are innately soft yet resilient, just like the natural subjects of each piece. Through depicting birds, their nests, their feathers, their homes, Tung is doing many things: she is inviting us to be mindful and environmentally aware. Yet she is also beckoning us to look beyond the surface, to explore the circle of life and our role within it, and to focus on the present time.
For Tung, art has an innate role in our spirituality and our mental wellbeing; it heals the heart. Inspirations evokes this message, inspiring us to take a moment to reflect on our role as humans and the world we live in. Taking Love Nest (2018) as an example, Tung depicts an empty bird’s nest with twisted branches. It is a representation of various stages of a bird’s life. It could be a move of courtship, of building a family, or an abandonment of grown-up birds. It is the dependent arising and ending circle of life.
While the subjects depicted may appear removed from cosmopolitan life, Tung explains it is anything but. Take the feather, a critical symbol in the exhibition. Created with strokes, each painted with light force, line by line, the feathers are the result of thousands of intricate lines. The role of the feather, together with the skill, patience and resolve required to produce it, contrast starkly with our fast-paced, frenetic, often mindless rush of city life. The feather provides relief. Pause. Its softness, its strength, its plight. We are to focus on the now, on imagining its flutter towards the ground.
Tung is an avant-garde with her use of colour, where gamboge, traditionally used as a mixer to blend colours, often takes centre-stage. Follow the Wind (2018) is a fine example of this; matched with black, white and various shades of yellow, gamboge becomes the main character. It creates a mysterious feeling, mixing gamboge with black. The fluttering feather is then brought to life by colour, vivid yet soft, allowing it to find its way down to Earth.
With Inspirations, Tung hopes to encourage environmental awareness and preservation of natural resources, while she also aims to invite us to self-reflect and find our own story. With each continuous line, each colour choice and combination, each wash of ink, she holds out her hand for us to step into a mysterious world. A more natural one. To rediscover our collective stories, to experience life from a different standpoint.
Inspirations is more than what we see. It’s what we feel and discover when we allow ourselves to be immersed that makes this exhibition a must-see. Come feel the strength and softness, the quiet, the flow.