Sougwen Chung's artwork Mimicry 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 expands her interpretation of mytheme in Mimicry by referencing the ancient Greek term mimesis - to imitate - in the work’s title. Mimesis is a critical and philosophical term that carries a wide range of meanings including imitation, representation, the act of resembling, the presentation of self and mimicry. The latter is commonly used in evolutionary biology and refers to the similarity of one species to another in appearance, behaviour, sound, scent or location: one group of organisms evolve to share perceived characteristics with another group (the eyes on a butterfly’s wings compared to predator’s eyes). In ancient Greece, mimesis (mimicry) governed the creation of artworks with correspondence to the physical world understood as a model for beauty, truth and good.
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.