Introducing: Thomas C. Chung

Introducing: Thomas C. Chung

Sedition has just delightfully announced a new artwork by Thomas C. Chung, "The Way It Once Was…"

Last year, we’ve heard from Chung and as he showed a fetching style of relaxing and particular aesthetics on our Open Platform, we learned more from him about his practices and artistic career. Finally, this week, we introduce Thomas C. Chung on our Curated Platform and have a chance to talk to him.

Sedition: Can you introduce yourself to the Sedition’s audiences?

Thomas C. Chung: Sure thing – my name’s Thomas & I’m a Chinese-Australian contemporary artist. Thanks for having me at Sedition!

I started my artistic journey almost 2 decades ago. Since then, my conceptual practice has been about the exploration of the childlike psyche, seeing the world through the eyes of a child.

A Still from “The Way It Once Was…” by Thomas C. Chung

Sedition: Could you give us more ideas behind your recent launch, “The Way It Once Was…”? It was created throughout the pandemic, how is it influenced by the Covid-19 situation?

Chung: “The Way It Once Was…”, is a series based upon my concept of the ‘fallen rainbow’ – I’m captivated by our abilities to dream. But what happens to our ideals when we’re left to face reality, short of making our desires come true?

Needless to say, the world has been through some significant changes and terrible times. It’s not the first or last time we’ll be given such challenges. Despite it all, it is terribly heartening to see humanity rise from trying circumstances to reclaim a sense of hope.

Sedition: How do you start your practices with videography? Could you let us know if there are any other media you also work with?

Chung: When I was younger, working in-between jobs after graduation, I spent a few good years sifting through my thoughts and processes. Working in a variety of occupations gave me a chance to think of what was important to me. 

I was hoping to create a conceptual storybook - a lifelong narrative if you will. Bookmarked as 5 separate chapters, each chapter would require a decade of life to unfold. Each part is also distinctive in creative technique and production, rebuilt as if it were a religious shrine or temple for self-renewal.

The 1st decade was about handmade processes utilising acrylic paint and gel mediums sculpted with toothpicks, coloured-pencil drawings and collages, as well as knitting and crocheting. The 2nd chapter involves digital and drone photography, video artworks and more industrial-based processes. It also coincided with the chance to minimise my studio to a single laptop and camera.

Sedition: Could you explain more about the focus of your research as you mentioned the artworks concerning psychotherapy?

Chung: The processes of innocence, growth, dreams, self-realisation, hardship, resilience and regeneration are major forces driving me into my current research, studying to be an art therapist and psychotherapist. It’s fascinating to see how human beings can go through all these stages at differing intervals in life, living out their journeys as stories - a narrative that directly unfolds when we’re children.

A Still from "And Then The Sun Was Gone....." by Thomas C. Chung

Sedition: Dreamlike but also realistic sky, clouds, and atmospheric phenomena are the recurring features in your works. Is there any particular reason you are fascinated by this imagery?

Chung: Part of my artistic practice aligns with the exploration of our inner child. As we progress through life our experiences shift along from moment to moment reacting as intuitively as we can. Another part of my narrative aligns with the investigation of our ‘emotional landscapes,’ where nature is a manifestation of our inner states of mind.

Clouds are ambiguous forms capable of containing our dreams and the greatest of imaginings, but they’re also capable of developing some of our darkest fantasies, creating anxieties and disasters. This tangible sense of flux has always given me an insight into our capabilities as emotional beings. We have so much light and dark that resides in us all.

Sedition: Subtly descriptive titles of your works are quite eye-catching. How do you come up with the titles? Is there any intention behind the title to guide your audiences?

Chung: I remember telling a close friend about this a few years ago about how I came up with artwork titles and what it all means. For me, the titles are meant to engage and guide the viewer as an audience, to lead them through the artwork with a singular statement or sentence. It’s often words I’ll find and use while I try to explain something to myself - an experience I’ve extrapolated as text. I’ve always wanted my pieces to have more than ‘Untitled’, to give people a sense of respect that my role is as a storyteller sharing a narrative.

A Still from "And Then The Sun Was Gone....." by Thomas C. Chung

Sedition: Could you share some of your future projects or the ideas you are working on recently?

Chung: I’ve been super fortunate to have a few commissioned projects picked up by some major clients for public artworks this year. A solo exhibition is being prepped in the back of my mind, it’s just a matter of securing the right space or place. I’ll also be travelling overseas again next year which will be extremely exciting. Every time I embark on a new adventure I feel like The Little Prince (it’s a famous story by French illustrator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry) making a discovery. I feel like I’m living my very best life when I’m staying open and curious.

Discover Thomas C. Chung here and keep in touch.

View Thomas C. Chung’s artworks on Sedition

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