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NATALIE CHEUNG | F-Stop A Photography Magazine

10 Nov

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Natalie Cheung @ Morton Fine Art

November 7th, 2022 by fstop

Natalie Cheung 57 Hours, 2022 (detail) 42 x80 in. Cyanotype photogram on paper Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

Natalie Cheung: Made of Light
through November 12, 2022

“Studying film photography during the advent of the medium’s “digital revolution,” Cheung’s education was heavily centered on the influences of light, duration and the chemistry of making a photographic print. Never embracing digital photography, Cheung no longer even owns a camera. Perhaps, as a result, Cheung’s experimental photography takes on a playful relationship, particularly with art history. From the nautical wash of a Turner landscape to the relaxed staining of Helen Frankenthaler’s abstractions, Cheung’s free-associative style inclusively riffs on prior forms, indebted to her realization that no shape or configuration can ever be truly original.”

Morton Fine Art
52 O St NW #302
Washington, D.C.

Available Artwork by NATALIE CHEUNG

NATALIE CHEUNG Interviewed | PetaPixel | Camera-Less Photography

26 Oct

Camera-Less Photographer Creates Beautifully Abstract Cyanotypes

 OCT 25, 2022

 SONYA HARRIS

Abstract ocean waves blue and white Cyanotype image
57 Hours, 2022 (detail). Cyanotype photogram on paper. Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

In a unique blending of mediums, the works of artist Natalie Cheung invite viewers into a myriad of captured ‘experiences through time and movement’ set onto the surface of photosensitive paper and microplastic sculptures.

With pictures reminiscent of Rorschach tests, Cheung’s captivating ‘camera-less’ photo series Made Of Light, leaves onlookers beguiled yet intrigued by the artist’s map-like aesthetics.

Cheung’s work is influenced by the natural world, as well as created by light, duration, and the chemistry of making a photographic print. Made of Light manages to adeptly pay homage while utilizing the cyanotype technique.

Cyanotype image blue and white (abstract)

“Cyanotype is the earliest form of photography;[…] it’s the same process from which early architectural blueprints were made.” Cheung continues, “One of the bodies of work featured in Made of Light […] is Intermediaries. In Intermediaries, evaporation is my subject. The mappings contemplate the incremental transformations our planet is facing as climate change progresses. It is predicted that warming temperatures around the world will cause coastal areas to become dramatically wetter and inland regions drier. The title of each work indicates the hours in which water took to evaporate completely, and what remains is a blueprint of evaporation. The titles in hours are an homage to the ticking clock (literal and figuratively) we have on our planet to reduce emissions and stave off the point of no return for climate change.” Cheung says, speaking to PetaPixel

Cyanotype sepia and dark beige and brown
Untitled 1, 2021. Silver gelatin chemigram on photo paper. (From the series Facsimile). Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

Cheung hails from a mixed-medium background. At 10 years old, she received an in-box 35mm Minolta film camera from her uncle and fell in love with the discipline then and there. She progressed as an avid film user, favoriting Hasselblad, and Rolleiflex and picking up inspiration from album art from bands such as the Pixies. Particularly, their Doolittle album art.

“The photographs in that album were so textural, rusty, and abandoned. So while other kids in my class were taking pictures of their friends and normal stuff teenagers would take pictures of, I was taking pictures of human teeth in crusty backdrops,” she says.

While studying film photography during the height of the “digital revolution,” and as traditional photography began to gravitate towards pixels, Cheung chose to dabble in the creation of new works in the darkroom without the aid of film images.

Teal and violet image, can see houses in the distance
Intersections of Light #060, 2022. Color pinhole photograph. Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

“When the digital revolution in the photo world took over a few years into my career, I started to think a lot about the essence of the medium: documenting a moment in time with light. I questioned why darkroom photographic processes were still relevant and how I could continue to use them in a contemporary context without my work looking like it was clinging to antiquated romanticism. This is the central idea behind all my work.” Cheung says.

She stuck with the basics, that being Crynotype, and fully committed to a cameraless approach to her images.

“The inspiration for my cameraless photography has shifted over the years. Everybody of work looks very different from the last; even what the artwork is about changes. But the artwork always remains connected by the importance of the process woven into the concept and by the random element of chance that is involved,” She says.

Abstract pink and white cyanotype image with red lines
Intersections of Light #033, 2022. Color pinhole photograph. Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

The conceptualization of her process is almost as abstract as the results of her works. In a controlled environment, Cheung uses slow-reacting cyanotype to yield inky-like images with intriguing shapes, textures, and patterns. While some images resemble a kind of cartography complete with river deltas and signs of erosion, others simply invoke the calm and contemplative, aggressive or panicked ‘mood’ of the artist.

“I think about my process like controlled experiments: there are control elements and there are factors I can play with to create a little chaos. I never know what’s going to happen exactly. Sometimes the artwork is a dud and sometimes it’s wonderful and that is very exciting,” Cheung says.

Sepia colored Abstract image, with lighter and dark blots and waves
Silver gelatin chemigram on photo paper. (From the series Facsimile). Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

The artist allows her mixtures to evaporate naturally, a process that mimics while subtly commenting on the steady passing of time and loss of water that defines humanity’s relationship with the climate crisis. The results are a brilliant merging of mediums, artistry, and social commentary.

“I’m always excited to see the outcome of an artwork. My work is not predictable: you can set everything up, but the image could be a dud…and there are a lot of duds. So when one turns out great, it’s magic. The process is so technical and labor-intensive that anything could go wrong during processing, so I feel super protective about the artwork until it’s dried and stored.”

Natalie Cheung , with long dark brown hair and glasses and polka-dot shirt
Courtesy Natalie Cheung

‘Cameraless photography’ has afforded Cheung an unconventional yet intriguing kind of set-up and work space,

“I don’t use much equipment at all! I use jumbo darkroom trays, chemicals, light, lots of nitrile gloves, and Ilford paper. I keep tagging Ilford in my Instagram posts but have never gotten a nod. I’m sure they are horrified at what I am doing with their product.”

cyanotype image with cloud and water like abstract imagery
57 Hours, 2022. Cyanotype photogram on paper. Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

Without the traditional nuances of digital, it’s tempting to view Cheung’s process and setup as a simplistic form of photography, however life in a darkroom consistently has proven challenging at times for the D.C based artist,

“Everything is a challenge! I like to make large artwork and I’m small, so from cutting giant heavy rolls of paper to backbreaking processing & archival washing to figuring out who is going to help me move a 7-foot framed artwork, it’s all challenging in different ways. I use these huge trays in the darkroom and even moving one of those around, I think I did something weird and tweaked my shoulder once. Another time the darkroom suddenly had no water pressure…that was fun, to say the least. At the end of the day, I personally need to make this artwork and it’s well worth all the hurdles…and I move my trays carefully now.”

Feedback for Cheung’s works has both challenged and amused the camera-less photographer,

blue and white abstract and looks like clouds over a big blue ocean
67 Hours, 2018. Cyanotype photogram on paper. (From the series Intermediaries). Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

“If you’re an artist then you know there’s wildly varying feedback. Of course, I love the complimentary stuff, but I value critical, well-thought-out comments the most. Sometimes the most valuable comments come from the most unlikely people. I also secretly enjoy the weird comments like: “This reminds me of the time I spilled laundry detergent” or “I am confused but interested in this”. It’s like reading internet comments. I know it’s wrong to be so entertained, but I am!

Currently, Cheung is focusing on the Made of Light exhibition at Morton Fine Art, and is busy dreaming of future collaborations with artist Marimekko, or at least “a scientist with a powerful microscope.” In the future, she is staying committed to trying different mediums and assessing the fruits of her labors.

“I recently got into large-scale artworks and I’m kind of in love, so I am going to continue exploring scale. I also started making my reclaim (model islands) sculptures, so I want to see where I can go with those. It baffles even me, how after decades of strictly being a photographer, I just sat down and started carving out a sculpture.”

Abstract Cyanotype teal and orange and yellow image
Intersections of Light #008, 2022. Color pinhole photograph. Courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

For more from Cheung, make sure to visit her Website and Instagram


Image credits: All photographs courtesy Natalie Cheung

Available Artwork by NATALIE CHEUNG

KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN’s solo “Water Ribbon” highlighted in Baltimore Fishbowl

8 Sep

BmoreArt’s Picks: September 7-13

By Bmoreart Staff -September 7, 2020

BmoreArt’s Picks: September 7-13

BmoreArt’s Picks presents the best weekly art openings, events, and performances happening in Baltimore and surrounding areas.

This Week: We are featuring online events that you can participate in from the comfort of your own couch and some that you can safely leave the house for, plus a few calls for entry to get involved locally and nationally. Stay home, stay healthy, stay engaged in the arts.

BmoreArt’s Picks presents the best weekly art openings, events, and performances happening in Baltimore and surrounding areas. For a more comprehensive perspective, check the BmoreArt Calendar page, which includes ongoing exhibits and performances, and is updated on a daily basis.

To submit your calendar event, email us at events@bmoreart.com!Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann: Water Ribbon
Wednesday, September 8 | Ongoing through October 6
@ Morton Fine Art

Morton Fine Art is pleased to present Water Ribbon, a solo exhibition of new works on paper by Washington, D.C.-based artist Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, on view from September 8th – October 6th, 2021. Featuring a collection of recent pieces by the artist, the exhibition offers an evocative perspective on contemporary ecologies during a time at which environmental destruction and the consequences of climate change loom ever larger.

Utilizing acrylic, sumi ink, and collage, Mann draws from traditions of Chinese landscape painting to create mesmerizing, vibrant depictions of organic matter. Mann begins her process by pouring liquid pigments onto paper, allowing them to dry and yielding a stain of color from which the work is then based. Through an embrace of the indeterminate qualities of her materials—the ink or paint takes its own course, without the artist dictating its shapes or forms—Mann demonstrates a symbiotic relationship to her materials that serves as an apt metaphor for coexistence with the natural world. What results from Mann’s subsequent additions to the paper are rich, layered tableaus imbued with an affective interplay of ideas.

Of the challenges posed by her recent work, Mann describes her rumination upon “the
resuscitation of landscape painting in a world where ‘landscape’ is represented and defined through an ever-widening field of digital, graphic, and visual forms.” At times almost dizzying, the pieces shown in Water Ribbon eschew Western conventions of spatial perspective and inert figuration, instead embracing qualities of movement and monumentality central to Chinese landscape painting traditions.

Bright hues and a multiplicity of patterns are nestled among Mann’s illustrations of flora and fauna, with streams of ink evoking vines and riverbeds. Lying in the tension between the artificial and the organic, Mann’s renderings suggest an intertwining of systems rather than a constant grappling for control or domination. Splashes of ink seep across each image, traversing various shapes and forms. Elsewhere, translucent swathes of paint filter views of plant life, appearing like stained-glass windows through which to gaze.

“In my most recent work, I hope to live in the tradition of landscape painting, experiencing it for what it has always been: an occasion for radical experimentation and confrontation with the world, in the broadest sense of the term that sustains us,” said Mann. Amongst all the chaos and beauty, Water Ribbon proposes a mode of coexistence attuned to change, reciprocity, and an honoring of diverse forms of life.

Baltimore Fishbowl Membership SUPPORT OUR WORK

Kei Ito | Artist Talk
Thursday, September 9 • 6pm
@ UMD Stamp Gallery

Screening in the Univesity of Maryland Stamp Nanticoke Room

In conjunction with this exhibition, join the Stamp Gallery for an artist talk by artist Kei Ito, artist of acquisition Under My Skin #1.

Kei Ito is a visual artist working primarily with camera-less photography and installation art who is currently teaching at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in NYC. Ito received his BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology followed by the MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2016. Ito’s work addresses issues of deep intergenerational loss and connections as he explores the materiality and experimental processes of photography.

Ito’s work addresses issues of deep intergenerational loss and connections as he explores the materiality and experimental processes of photography, specifically the idea around visualizing the invisible such as radiation, memory and life/death. His work, rooted in the trauma and legacy passed down from his late grandfather – a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, meditates on the complexity of his identity and heritage through examining the past and current threats of nuclear disaster and his present status as an US-immigrant. Most of Ito’s prints are made with exposing light sensitive material to sunlight, often timing the exposures with his breath, influenced by his grandfather’s words describing the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima “…was like hundreds of suns lighting up the sky.” These X-ray like prints are usually installed in a way that provokes a monument.

He was the recipient of the 2020 Marva and John Warnock Biennial Artist in Resident Award and participated in other artist residencies such as: MASS MoCA, the Center for Fine Art Photography, CPW, and Creative Alliance. Ito’s works are collected by major institutions including: the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Norton Museum of Art, En Foco, the Candela Collection and California Institute of Integral Studies. His internationally recognized solo and group shows can be read in reviews and articles published by Washington Post, Hyperallergic, BmoreArt, Chicago Magazine, Studio Magazine, ArtMaze Magazine, and BBC Culture/Art.

Website: Kei-ito.com
Instagram: Kei.ito.art

Viewers who wish to join the lecture virtually on Zoom may do so at https://go.umd.edu/keiitotalk

Read more at BmoreArt.

New artwork arrivals by KATHERINE TZU LAN MANN

21 Dec

My work’s abstractions arise from the subjects I portray: ecological and geological cycles, processes of chemical corrosion and natural efflorescence. With roots in traditions of Chinese landscape painting, my monumentally sized paintings and installations evolve a fantastic, abstract vision of the natural world. My latest work confronts the challenge: the resuscitation of landscape painting in a world where “landscape” is represented and defined through an ever-widening field of digital, graphic, and visual forms. How can a painting capture flux, abundance, waste, fertility, and the collision and collusion of diverse forms? How can it respond to the pressure we place on our era’s fragile ecosystem? My paintings explore both questions by sustaining tension between what is artificial and what is natural, between what is chemical and what is biological, between organic and inorganic. The paper on which I paint is not only a recognition of a tradition of Chinese painting; it is also a medium of vulnerability and expansiveness, susceptible to crease and tear as well as to collage and collation. My own role in the creation of the paintings strikes a balance between the purposive and the protective. I trust to process, chance, and change, but I encourage, direct, and facilitate all of these. In my most recent work, I hope to live in the tradition of landscape painting, experiencing it for what it has always been: an occasion for radical experimentation and confrontation with the world, in the broadest sense of the term that sustains us. – KATHERINE MANN

Click HERE to view available artwork by KATHERINE TZU LAN MANN.

Morton Fine Art, 52 O St NW #302, Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787 (text or call)

info@mortonfineart.com

http://www.mortonfineart.com