Sougwen Chung: Light and dark play at Public Functionary

Installation by Sougwen Chung
Installation by Sougwen Chung
Photo courtesy Public Functionary

This weekend, Public Functionary welcomes New York-based Chinese-Canadian artist Sougwen Chung. Her exhibition, "Chiaro/Oscuro," derives its title from the term chiaroscuro, used to describe strong contrasts between light and dark, originating during the Renaissance. The show is divided into four rooms, and showcases Chung's interest in merging fine art and new technology using different mediums.

"I have an insatiable curiosity for new technology," Chung says.

Sougwen Chung
Sougwen Chung
Photo courtesy Public Functionary

That will be evident in the main installation for the show, which layers drawings with intricate moving lighting design and projections. The drawings are black and white, and look a bit like flowers that have been cut out and are hung in such a way in the room so as to become sculptural. A video from a previous rendition of the installation that Chung showed in Geneva, Switzerland (see below) demonstrates Chung's dramatic use of lighting and projections, although she says the version at Public Functionary will be a bit different, because the projections and lighting are informed by the space itself. 

Using a projection mapping program called MadMapper, which takes a spatial scan of the space and traces over the line work to generate forms, Chung creates projections which she describes as gestural and fluid. Chung also layers in a sound score created in collaboration with sound designer Praveen Sharma. 
Work by Sougwen Chung
Work by Sougwen Chung
Photo courtesy Public Functionary

Another room will include some in-progress drawings and sketches, showing the process of Chung's work. A third room will showcase Chung's digital stills and mixed-media pieces, including some works that she's printed on silk, creating an interesting juxtaposition of new technology and traditional material. Chung will be showing in a fourth room motion pieces and short films. 

The folks at Public Functionary tell us the best time to view the exhibit is after the dark. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, August 24 from 8 p.m. to midnight where Chung will be doing live drawings. There will also be night viewing hours on Friday and Saturday evenings through September 27 starting at 8 p.m. Activities are planned on Friday nights.

CHIAROSCURO -- Installation by Sougwen Chung from sougwen on Vimeo.

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Public Functionary

1400 12th Ave. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413


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