Thomas Chung, Indra’s Net
The fluidity of culture has long interested Anchorage multi-media artist Thomas Chung, a third-generation American of Chinese heritage who grew up in Hong Kong and New York and is now an assistant professor of painting at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Always strongly connected to painting and drawing, Chung’s body of work blends satire and mysticism through performance, large-print photography, installation and sculpture. The large-scale paintings in this exhibition encapsulate cultural motifs from a variety of cultures and experiences.
Chung uses his work to reach beyond words to illustrate and explore the duality of the sacred and profane and the interconnectedness of humankind and nature. Themes he explores include: identity, family, sexuality, spirituality, bigotry and addiction.
His paintings depict a world where beautiful and terrible aspects of society intermingle in a dream-like kaleidoscope, creating what he describes as a monstrous sublime. Although he paints in a realistic mode, his images are full of complex metaphor. He says his intention with his work is not to chastise or offend, but to offer a look at the spirit or mood of our times as shown through prevailing ideas and beliefs.
This exhibition is presented as part of the Patricia B. Wolf Solo Exhibition Series with support from the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Anchorage Museum Foundation Alaska Airlines Silver Anniversary Fund.