Chung-Ping Cheng's "The Peony" Opens Saturday February 16 at TAG Gallery, Los Angeles
Cheng's photographs capture the physical and metaphorical layers of this
flower and it's symbolism in traditional Chinese culture.
"As a photographer, I use the camera to celebrate my Chinese heritage
while breaking with traditional norms of Chinese Art."
Cheng uses color film, a medium format camera and develops her large-scale images in the darkroom, which enables her to manipulate the color and to experiment. “I relish the mysteries of the developing photograph while embracing and using elements of chance that may appear.” is how she describes her darkroom process.
Chung-Ping Cheng’s most recent series encapsulates her process oriented experimental photography. She concentrates on the symbolic Chinese flower the Peony, which is known to represent women; their beauty, their elegance, emotion and character. Cheng doesn’t take traditional shots of flowers; she uses the large-scale and unique perspective to draw attention to the many layers both physically and metaphorically. She distills and extracts the image of the peony, presenting us with moments and aspects in serial imagery, reminiscent of Monet’s haystacks. Compositionally, the flowers – like in Georgia O’Keefe’s flower painting - are enlarged to take over the whole surface and thus become more powerful, bold and less traditional, still beautiful but no longer fragile or delicate. Cheng envisions the viewer walking into the gallery and being immersed in a ‘virtual garden’ of “Peonies.”
Chung-Ping Cheng graduated from National Taiwan University, where she majored in History. She spent much of her years absorbing millennia of art works and artifacts at the National Palace Museum. In the U.S., she took intensive art and photography courses, pursuing her interest in art and photography. Cheng is among a new wave of Chinese photographers to re-introduce aspects of China’s considerable aesthetic heritage within contemporary photography. Cheng’s work was included most recently in “Women in Photography in LA”, presented by Contact Photo Lab, in the Photo LA event, and also in a solo exhibition at the 1839 Contemporary Gallery in Taiwan.
TAG Gallery is a contemporary gallery located on Museum Row in the Miracle Mile/ Wilshire Blvd district of Los Angeles, California. The Gallery represents award-winning contemporary Southern California local artists working in all mediums and styles.