Born in Hong Kong, Christopher Cheung left for Paris in 1970 and thenceforth settled down there.
Cheung’s oeuvre reflects his great mastery of a realistic style as profound as meticulous. In the composition the vivid, clear and exquisite components beckon, inviting further exploration and interpretation of their connotations. The artist’s cogitation on history and culture, discussion about his life and everything, as well as epiphanies from quotidian existence, manifest themselves in the scenarios he elaborately choreographed.
The body of Cheung’s works can be roughly classified into the “Still-life Series” and the “Figure Painting Series.” He tends to turn elements of Chinese culture into the subject matters of his works. Items strongly emblematic of Chinese culture (e.g. Chinese chess, chinaware, Shaolin Temple 18 Bronzers, and tortoiseshell) have come up frequently in his painting compositions. This approach might be resulted from his personal remembrances of his native culture after living abroad for years, or his attempt to mirror his real-life stories.
Granting his paintings the luxury of verisimilitude, Cheung further gives them an aura of succinctness. Emotionally charged notwithstanding, the figures and objects in his oeuvre are presented in a way as if they stand aloof from the mundane world. Such a succinct expression registers not so much the artist’s clear thoughts as his complete perplexity and estrangement, with which he lodges reflexive questions to his life and inner-self.
Also a piece of Cheung’s “Still-life Series,” [The Scheme] is characterized by the crumpled paper chessboard in blue color with golden lines at the center of its composition, which visually echoes the title of this work. If a blueprint is little more than a sketch, can we reasonably infer that the blue paper chessboard is tantamount to the scheme of one’s life? However, this blueprint shows no chess piece but the blue paper chessboard. If life is like playing chess, what we can learn from this painting is seemingly nothing more than this analogy. The keys and the mask-shaped key ring in the lower part of the composition implicitly suggest that this chessboard is perhaps the scheme of the artist per se.
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Address: No. 209-1, Sec. 3, Chengde Rd., Datong Dist., Taipei City, Taiwan