IN SESSION 7 - Chino NG Kwok-cheung - About paint, father and me
IN SESSION 7 –
October 22, 2016 ~ October 31, 2016
About paint, father and me | 關於塗漆、父子
My father, retired decorator.
I remember the first thing I asked him to teach me was how to paint a wall. It was also the first time that I learnt about his working.
Chino Ng Kwok Cheung (°1987, Hong Kong), an artist, illustrator and graphic designer, graduated in HKBU Academy of Visual Arts in 2011. He works in a variety of media. By exploring the concept of landscape in a nostalgic way, Chino investigates the dynamics of landscape with different dimensions, namely the change of environment, time and every details how landscape means to him rather than presenting a factual reality. His practice provides a useful set of allegorical tools for guiding with a minimalist approach in the world of art.
His works directly respond to the surrounding environment and utilize the artist’s daily experiences as a starting point. With a conceptual approach, he tries to approach a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way, likes involving the viewers in a way that is sometimes physical and believes in the idea of function following form in a work. And currently his works are focusing on the subject of light and reflection.
If you are interested in collecting Chino's artworks at A3,
you are welcome to contact the artist directly via
Y: Yeung Yang
C: Chino Ng
C My father. He is retired and has been picking up small electric fans people have thrown away. He would take them apart and reassembling them. There are probably 20 at home now. I don’t want to be curating an exhibition for him, but I want to show his fans, maybe his being a craftsman. How should I do this? I don’t know if he would agree… Maybe, a way to distribute the fans to people living around A3?
Y But if he wouldn’t be there…what would this kind of sharing mean?
C It’s hard for him, at his age, to travel such a distance from home to A3.
Y […] […] Is it really about the fans, even craftsmanship etc.? […]
C […] Conceptual art is really not my thing. […] […] I can’t do it the way others do.
Y Where does this dichotomy between conceptual art and everything else (drawing and painting, for instance) come from?
C […] […] […] I don’t know.
[One month later…]
C Goooooood news! Yang yeungggg, My idea come out la,
I will start on this sat , hopefully can finished before next tue . N then can show about 1.5 weeks . This time I want to share to u after I finished . Share to u soon!
RETREAT/ RESEARCH/ SEARCH
The drawings are down, packed in a box. The space is at rest, with only dabs of putty in a different white on the white wall. They put the space to rest in a quiet energy.
C I want to paint here, directly onto the wall. The movement of sunlight and shadows during late afternoons is interesting. And I have never made such a big painting before anyway.
Y Sounds great. The space is finally affecting you; you are letting it affect you.
[One week later…]
C Really soriiiiii for make it so long for the preparation , however ,, I have a new idea came up ! Could we meet on Monday ? Or Tmr or next thur to talk about it ?
Everything had to be, until everything was subject to change.
“Kinesis is not just a difference of state. It carries the connotation of a transition, indeed a development, from one state to another: a ‘whence-whither’. […]
Kinesis, as a process of change between an initial and an end state, is continuous, though it may be broken off or interrupted.” Dorothy Emmet, The Passage of Nature (1992). 
The white on white is one object (a canvas painted white) on another (a wall painted white). The videos speak of their meanings – the father who paints, the son who follows. This simplicity of expression, however, comes from the grave and prolonged struggles the artist has been through. Here is the process.
It began from the artist’s determination to show 100 watercolor drawings of stones. The sheer number speaks of labor; the struggle was whether to show labor. The days during which the drawings were made tell of lived time; the struggle was whether to show time as a line – an arrow shooting forward. The silence of the objects raise questions about what they can do facing the street; the struggle became how to invite others to find their stones and keep the artist drawing.
And then everything changed. Chino’s being there began to affect his perception of the place. It was no longer an empty vehicle to be filled up with objects and human voices, but a space whose dimensions are continuously subject to the change sunlight brings upon it; it is continuous with, not isolated from, nature.
He never painted what he observed. Instead, he withdrew radically into thinking without knowing the next step. He let that which was not up to him claim him. He chose not to let go.
Nothing of this sort is apparent in his final iteration of this durational showing, telling, painting, and installing. But everything is also there to be the artist’s intense experience from taming the space to having dialogues with it. This time, he knows he does not have to be there when others are. He knows he has been there as much as his father has been.
In terms of the relatively larger scale and magnitude of the making and unmaking of art, the making and unmaking of an artist, the white on white is but a small stroke. But it is an assertive and astute gesture of refusal to be interrupted again. It is an artistic statement of discipline, wonder, and perplexity, which, if un-interrupted, has a lot to teach about the nurturing of the public life of art.
 In Emmet’s philosophical investigation of the idea of ‘process’ in The Passage of Nature, she studies Aristotle’s ‘kinesis’ as a rich view of process, which she translates as ‘process of change’, which may or may not involve locomotion as a change of place. “For Aristotle the direction is set as the actualizing of a potentiality, and the internal order by the essential nature of the developing subject of change.” (1992:114)