Alea (Mytheme, Étude Op. 4, No. 2)
Sougwen Chung's artwork Alea is part of her series Mytheme (Étude Op. 4) and one of four works. The series explores the expressiveness of the abstract form by transcribing the concept of mytheme - the constant unchanging element forming a mythical narrative’s kernel - into a visual exploration. In order to do so, Chung records gestures with paint which she then manipulates digitally, achieving a sense of transformation and dimensionality; without, however, altering the core forms or colours dictating the abstract composition. Chung’s title Alea has its origin in an ancient Greek play by the comedian and writer Meander and refers to the concept of chance. Most famously, it is known through the writings of Plutarch when describing Julius Caesar on January 10th, 49 BC, when the latter led his army across the river Rubicon into Northern Italy: alea iacta est (“the dice have been cast”). The phrase is still used today in order to describe an event that marks a point of no return with inevitable outcome. A score composed of textural soundscapes of improvisational violin and granular synthesis methods accompanies the works in this collection. Violin compositions were performed by Chung in collaboration with musician Praveen Sharma. Sougwen Chung lives and works in New York.