October 12th, 2016
Thomas C. Chung was brought to my attention from one of our readers. His work is unlike anything I’ve seen. Currently working a lot with wool and large scale installations, his work pulls you in to scan and absorb every detail. His work is beautiful simple and perfect, always pushing his artistic boundaries! Who knows what he’ll come out with next! I for one, cannot wait.
1. Where are you from?
I’m originally from Hong Kong but I grew up in Australia. I’m proudly an Aussie with a deep Chinese heritage.
2. How would you describe your work? How have others?
I’d like to think my work is conceptual in many ways. My artistic practice unfolds as a continuous narrative, seeing the world through the eyes of a child. Sculptures, paintings, drawings & installations are the techniques I’ve currently used. In the future though I’ll be exploring photography, video & performance.
People tend to think of me as being a craft-based type of artist, focusing on knitting & crocheting. The next decade or two will be quite a surprise to them. There’s a whole lot more to come.
3. Where do you find your inspiration?
My inspirations always end up being a rather long list. Nowadays it’s more of a general mood that I’m after. Music, films, children’s books, documentaries, ideas of all types which I’ve never thought about, plants, space, food, moonlight, neon cityscapes, quiet people, chatty people, listening to the child inside of you, finding a pure connection – I guess these are some of the things I’ve been feeling & thinking about recently.
4. Why do you work with so many different mediums?
I love telling stories…but this idea of forming a lifelong narrative was something I thought deeply about for four years post-graduation. Going through all types of jobs in that time, I had a lot of time to think, picking up important life experiences along the way.
I realised I never want to feel stuck, so all the mediums you’ll see in the future reflect this ideal, shifting from one thing to the next according to the ‘chapters’ I have in mind.
5. From your first installation to your most recent how have you grown as an artist?
I feel like I finally belong, doing something that I feel passionately about – I’m no longer an outsider looking in. I understand how the art world works, with people wanting to lift you to greater heights, while there’ll be others who want to tear you down. The ups & downs only become stronger as time passes by, so for that you have to become even more resilient. But for all of its craziness & spontaneity I have chosen this Life (I couldn’t be anything else).
6. If you could have a super power, what would it be? And why?
Hahah…hmmm. I’d like to have the power to give people the time to dream & pursue a Life that they’d really desire. If they get lost inside a grey muck, I’d sprinkle ‘honesty dust’ into their faces so they’d wake up.
7. What do you do for fun?
I love new experiences. Tasting exotic food, travelling to places I’ve never been, listening to new ideas & understanding idealist concepts, to connecting deeply with someone special…anything that makes my head & heart go “Wow!” – this is what I call fun.
8. Of all the art mediums you work with, which do you wish you had more time for?
Painting - definitely painting. It’s something that will come back in the upcoming years. The way I paint is very time-consuming, sculpting paint with a toothpick. It makes me concentrate almost to the point of feeling ‘zen’. It has helped me become a more patient person. If only I had a more permanent studio……
9. You were brought to my attention by fans in Norway. What's it like knowing you have fans all over the world supporting you and telling people about you and your work?
The feedback that I receive always drives me on – I really thrive off of it. Making Art, as great as it can be, is a very quiet activity. So it’s always exciting to hear what others have to say.
10. When you made your first crochet item did you think this is where it would take you?
Definitely not. If someone told me that this would be happening to me, I’d say they’d need to give me that crystal ball that they were looking at & show me why. It’d probably be too much pressure to be honest knowing so much.
11. Oreo or Fudgee-O cookies?
Oreos for sure. And a big selection of all the funky flavours just to try them out. With a glass of soy milk, too.
Check out Thomas's website and Facebook to keep up-to-date on all his work and installations. One of the most innovative artists that we’ve come across, I can’t wait to see what’s next from Thomas C. Chung.