Michelle Loa Kum Cheung is an Australian artist, currently based in London. Since graduating with Honours in Fine Arts from the UNSW Art & Design, University of New South Wales in 2011, Loa Kum Cheung has exhibited steadily in solo and group exhibitions, prizes and fairs in both Australia and Great Britain.
Most recently Loa Kum Cheung participated in an international art residency in Switzerland and was one of 26 finalists in the inaugural international Rise Art Prize 2018 shortlisted from 16,000 applicants, showcased in London in February 2018. She exhibited in a two-woman show in London with British artist Julie Brixey-Williams, participated in The Other Art Fair, Bristol 2017, and in various locations around London as part of the Dot To Dot Campaign run by the Mayor’s Office of London.
A hotel is a place of transience. Movement. Travel. Temporality.
In my work, I explore the creation of spaces, places and times, which are fictional yet familiar. These images are an escape from the reality of manmade environments, and a veneration of a natural idyllic landscape. Drawing upon Chinese concepts in shan shui painting, I will display works where the depiction of landscape relies on my innate and intuitive reaction to visual reality.
Mountains are a popular icon in Chinese mythology, existing on a level above that of everyday life. My current practice is a response to the geographical dislocation I experience as an Australian with a Chinese Mauritian background. I will exploit the contrast between these natural landforms existing outside of the hotel room, a space conventionally defined by the temporary occupation of travellers, from all over the world.
Favouring the tactility and raw materiality of wood and paper, the proposed room will be a combination of pyrography (art of burning wood), oil and gold leaf paintings on wood panels and paper. The paintings will be of mountains and natural environments which take reference from real places but are idealistic and illusory. The physicality in the pyrography is an attempt to exert ownership over the elusiveness of memory, time and place. One large hanging paper piece, where the image emerges from the extraction of material rather than the application will hang above the bed. The image will be burned into the paper, where light and the position of the audience will result in a continuously shifting perception of the image.