About the work, Sougwen writes:
Chiaroscuro is an installation piece that utilizes light as an artifice of visual perception. It explores the interplay of light and shadow on a dimensional drawing form. Strata of abstract, monochromatic line-work are suspended on a wall, giving off the illusion that lines themselves are extending beyond the flat plane. Coils of light are nested asymmetrically within the form, responding to the variations of sound in the environment and illuminating the surface with a pulsing ambiance. Projected light is mapped onto the exterior from a distance, revealing and obscuring the piece throughout the course of the installation.
Sougwen Chung: Works in Progress
Today marks the release of Sougwen Chung’s second print series, Étude Op. 2, No. 1-4, for Ghostly International Editions. To coincide with this release, we asked Sougwen to give us a compass for where she’s heading next. (Click the images above for a slideshow and learn more about each image in her descriptions below.)
Whether it’s the result of restlessness, unbridled curiosity, extensive traveling, or simply the cumulative effect of all of these factors, the breadth of Chung’s work has surged in the past year. From a newfound fascination with origami to elaborate projection mapping and live visuals, these works in progress suggest that the artist we already esteem, is just getting started.
- Macro shot of the interior of a tessellated paper piece. Making connections between code-driven visuals and the simple materiality of building form with paper creasing and folding.
- A snapshot of a recent work in progress piece, entitled Prélude. Experiments with light projection on a planar surface.
- Still from a timelapse light sketch, made on my studio wall.
- Embrace of Indeterminacy framed. Violin, and korg nanocontroller I use while performing visuals for Sepalcure. Working on creating a piece that can integrate these three tools meaningfully, or at least, elegantly.
- Prélude intro, more here
Travelogue: Sougwen Chung
The word ‘travelogue’ was first coined by Burton Holmes, a travel lecturer from the early 20th century (who first used colored glass slides and then moving pictures to supplement his talks). Given the sheer volume of imagery being shared through Tumblr, Facebook, and Instagram today, the word almost seems quaint and old-fashioned. Still, there’s something to be said for pulling together a particular set of images to tell a story or provide insight into a particular time in one’s life.
Leading up to our release of Sougwen Chung’s new print series, Étude Op. 2, No. 1-4, for Ghostly International Editions, we asked the Brooklyn-based artist to select and narrate some of her favorite images from a recent spate of trips taken between May and June, 2012. Viewed together, they provide a subtle link between the artist’s life and her work, showing how the experiences in the former can inform the preoccupations of the latter, and vice versa.
Snapshots from Santa Theresa, Vancouver, Tokyo, Nagano, and Brooklyn.
May to mid-June, 2012.
- The daylight created layers of texture on the hills and valleys that was rather captivating. View from a very small plane to a secluded island. Santa Theresa, Costa Rica.
- Another notable instance of light passing through wine glasses, illuminating a woven tablecloth. Looked like two fireflies. Santa Theresa, Costa Rica.
- Black sands in Costa Rica. It maybe barely noticeable from the photo but in person the sand was iridescent in the darkest swirls. Santa Theresa, Costa Rica.
- Surveillance. This ruptured bark took looked like a left eye, peering at me. Vancouver, British Columbia
- Numerous paper cranes made from beautiful origami paper in the Japanese consulate. I was applying for my performance visa for an upcoming visual show at Taico Club Festival in Nagano.
- Sunset view, arrival in Shibuya in Tokyo. Jetlag, then noodles.
- Morning view, Japanese Countryside for Taico Club Festival with Sepalcure. The trip was exhilarating; we shared stage with Machine Drum, Mouse on Mars, Africa Hitech, and more. 8,000 people showed up to the event and all proceeds went to Tsunami relief. Andy Gilmore's visuals for Africa Hitech were stunning as always. Nagano, Japan.
- Scales on pinecone. Transfixed by the rich details in the folds. Vancouver, British Columbia.
- Blue petals for July 4th. Back in Brooklyn, New York
- New York skyline in a cab from the airport, after being away from the city for a few months. Apparently Zach (Shigeto) took the same photo. Brooklyn, New York
A Q&A with artist Sougwen Chung
Fluid, delicate, ethereal, intricate—these are all adjectives one could employ in describing the incredible work of Sougwen Chung. Yet don’t think for a second that her art is intentionally precious in a flowery sort of way. On the contrary, Sougwen’s compositions are the result of relentless experimentation, improvisation, and meditation on the psyche. The results are undeniably beautiful, yes, but also suggestive—through their play of light and shadow, density and sparsity, flow and entanglement—of the infinite complexity within.
(Adapted from an interview taken June, 2011)
How did you get started on your path to becoming an artist?
I have a background in music and a bachelors in fine arts. My current body of work developed through experimentation, improvisation, and some degree of isolation.
What is your earliest childhood memory about art?
The earliest experiences that resonated deeply with me were inextricably linked to creation / performance. Probably one of my first violin recitals growing up—to overcome the nervousness of being at the center of attention to become this channel of creativity was pretty transcendental, actually.