Curated by Jenny Gerow, Assistant Curator
Opening Reception: May 20, 2015
A Brooklyn-based multimedia artist working in painting, sculpture, and installation, Cecile Chong’s work addresses the process of cultural encounter and entanglement. Born in Ecuador to Chinese parents, her background and exposure to different cultural objects and ideas has driven her fascination with how these influences are visually acquired, represented, and interpreted.
Chong both physically and metaphorically melds these incongruous objects and ideas to create new narratives through her work. Her labor intensive practice of encaustic painting requires her to create 25 translucent layers of beeswax, within which she collages elements like metallic leaf, colored rice paper, pigment from Morocco and India, volcano ash from Ecuador, beads, and circuit board material. Rendered playfully on skateboards, surfboards, and paddleboards the wax layers lend these everyday objects a sumptuous surface akin the glazed ceramics of Chinese “blue and white porcelain.” Further combining these Eastern and Western incongruities are the traditional Chinese landscapes carved into the wax surface and dotted with cavorting children, animals, and other child-like objects.
The exhibition in the Project Room of BRIC House will present over 20 of Chong’s encaustic paintings as well as guaguas (wah-wahs), her small baby-bundled sculptures made of wax. These little abstracted sculptures serve as an important icon for Chong and are figured throughout her encaustic paintings as playfully hidden little ancestors watching over the frolicking children. The guaguas are a reference to swaddling infants, also to guaguas de pan, the traditional “bread child” in Andes culture, specifically an Ecuadorian sweet bread served on special holidays. Visitors to the Project Room encounter the guaguas in their natural landscape, nestled in an astro-turf recreation of the colorful sloping hillsides of Chong’s encaustic works.
ABOUT CECILE CHONG
Cecile Chong received an MFA from ParsonsThe New School for Design in 2008, an MA from Hunter College, and a BA in Studio Art from Queens College. She has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions. Her solo exhibitions include Emerson Gallery Berlin, Honey Ramka Project Space, Figuresworks, Praxis International Art Project Space, Corridor Gallery and ArtSPACE. Group exhibitions include El Museo, Wave Hill, CUE Art Foundation, Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Sue Scott Gallery, NY, and Cynthia Corbett Gallery, London. Fellowships include The Center for Book Arts, Socrates Sculpture Park, Artists in the Marketplace, Bronx Museum, Urban Artist Initiative NYC, Aljira Emerge and the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant. Her work is in the collections of El Museo, Museum of Chinese in America, The Center for Book Arts, Citibank Art Advisory and private collections in the U.S., Europe and Central and South America. Her work has been reviewed in Huffington Post, El Diario La Prensa, Singtao Daily, and The New York Times. She is currently part of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program. Find out more at www.cecilechong.com.
The Project Room at BRIC House is dedicated to work by emerging Brooklyn artists and curators who are interested in advancing their practice.
The Project Room, located adjacent to the Gallery in BRIC House is an added resource for video work, BRIC's emerging curator program, small-scale exhibitions and experimental curatorial projects.
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A conversation with Cecile Chong and Bill CarrollJun 11, 2015 • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
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