Thomas C. Chung
Photo by Alessandra Langum
Exploring the interstices between art and craft, consumption and desire, the work of Thomas C. Chung inhabits an anxious space where all is not as it seems. In a true DIY spirit, Thomas is devoted to labor-intensive and handmade processes. His soft yarn sculptures of candies and vegetables, placed in unlikely settings, simultaneously evoke the surprise and sweetness of discovering the unexpected, and the fairy tale menace of the witch’s candy cabin. Effortlessly mixing charm, nostalgia, and a quiet unease, Thomas’s work is both delightful and provocative.
Born in Hong Kong in 1981, Thomas C. Chung lives and works in Australia and Scandinavia. He graduated with a BFA in 2004 from the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales. Since graduating, Chung has held a number of solo exhibitions and been awarded artist residencies in the USA, Sweden, Finland and Norway.
Thomas’s work was brought to our attention by reader Tim, who met Thomas in Mongolia and nominated him as a respondent. Thomas’s work is available through Darger HQ.
1. What is your hometown?
2. With what fictional character do you most identify?
The Little Prince.
3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.
Does an animated character count?
A real life actor is quite hard to pinpoint…..
Pazu – from Hayao Miyazaki’s, Laputa.
4. What work of art speaks to your soul?
Film – Amelie, by Jean Pierre-Jeunet.
Music – The Woman by the Well, by Sarah Blasko.
Comic – Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Watterson.
Children’s book – The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
Illustrations – Vem?, by Stina Wirsén.
Painting – Sleepless Night (sitting), by Yoshitomo Nara.
Sculpture – Weeds, by Yoshihiro Suda.
Photography – Elevator Girls, by Miwa Yanagi.
Video – Ever is All Over, by Pipilotti Rist.
Performance – Fragile, by Marcus Vinícius de Souza Santos.
Art installation – Take Your Time, by Olafur Eliasson.
5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?
I don’t read an awful lot of books (I tend to prefer the ideas over the content itself sometimes. I have a personal library of books I’ve yet to read, possibly waiting for when I’m old & with grandchildren), but I will say that anything by Oliver Jeffers is a top-notch read.
6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?
I wish I had an iPod. I’ve still yet to own a mobile phone!
I’m a bit behind on technology I have to admit….but I have a wishlist of over 80 albums I’ll purchase, once this all kicks in.
7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?
8. Cat person or dog person?
Is a rabbit an alternative?
Otherwise I’d have to say a cat person.
9. What is more important, truth or kindness?
Kindness. But truth is not too far behind (it’s a necessity).
10. How do you define sin?
There’s no such thing.
Evil on the other hand…..
11. How do you define virtue?
Integrity of the highest level.
12. Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?
I’m not the type to want a headstone. It’s a lot of space & expense, for something so temporary.
I’d prefer to be sprinkled as dust from the edges of a cliff, sitting next to a lighthouse.
Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?