'Milgram’s Progress' is one of Cheung’s earliest works to deal with the conflictual multi-layered identity of contemporary China. In the centre of the painting’s lower section is an image of Stanley Milgram, the psychologist made famous for his experiment establishing the human tendency to obey authority, even when it threatens our morality. To the left of Milgram, a chain of figures are hauling a fishing net - the workers are appropriated from a Chinese propaganda poster, transformed by Cheung into uniform blue lemmings lacking individuality. To the top right, traditional Chinese landscape painting traditions clash with the towering spectacle of urban capitalist progress, analogous to the contradiction in the reformed political ideology that began to emerge at the time of this painting’s creation.
Gordon Cheung is interested in historical revisionism and the underlying mechanics of power that govern our understanding of the world. Imagery itself is Cheung’s primary medium, co-opted in the creation of multifaceted paintings or manipulated via digital algorithms, ultimately posing a challenge to dominant political narratives and visual culture’s active participation in them. Mapping epic post-apocalyptic landscapes against the backdrop of Financial Times stock listings, Cheung’s work draws as much on classical literary and art historical sources as it does on contemporary media and imagery.
Cheung graduated from Central Saint Martins in 1998, completing an MA at the Royal College of Art in 2001. Solo exhibitions include 'Tears of Paradise' at Edel Assanti, London, 2020; 'Home' at Galerie Huit, Hong Kong, 2018; 'New Order Vanitas' at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, USA, 2017; 'Gordon Cheung' at The Whitaker, UK, 2017; 'Here be Dragons' at Nottingham Castle Museum (2016); 'Lines in the Sand' at Leila Heller Gallery Dubai (2016); 'Altered States' at the Arizona State University Art Museum (2010), 'The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse' at the New Art Gallery Walsall (2009); 'The Promised Land' at Jack Shainman Gallery (2009). Cheung’s work features in numerous public collections worldwide, including Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, The British Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Hood Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, San Antonio Museum of Art, Speed Art Museum, The Whitworth Art Gallery, Arizona State University Art Museum and The Yale Center for British Art. Cheung lives and works in London.
You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in our emails.