DOMINIQUE FUNG

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Q: Tell us about your practice

A: I primarily make images and specifically I make oil paintings and I’ve recently begun to make sculptures.

My art practice is a bricolage of ancestral memory, history, artifacts, stories, painting history, fragmenting, assembling, disassembling, and the repurposing of ideas. I reference everything from Dunhuang frescoes, European historical paintings, objects from The Metropolitan Museum’s collection, and objects in auction catalogues to create uncanny scenes with allegorical depth.

Q: Your works reflect on Orientalism and the fetishization of Asian women. How does the theme evolve to your latest body of work?

A: This is a hard question to answer because I see this body of work in the same realm as the last. The specularized yellow women/person is always aware she is being gazed upon in the paintings such as the paintings with the blurred fans I was attempting to achieve a sense of distortion, a figure that is not solid, rendered invisible but so haunting you cannot look away.

One new idea I've begun to work with is the theme of celebration, which I had not done so in the past. 
I want to hold complexity in my ideas and image-making and the painting “The largest and most formal meal of the day” is my attempt at bringing in celebration and pride of the Cantonese foods I grew up with. 

In this new work, as much as I’m focused on conceptual ideas around the ornamented body I also wanted to push the formal elements of paintings to have the same weight as the ideas behind the work. The complexity of painting, of the surface, of colour and of form to use painting as a vehicle to transport you into a different frame of mind is very important to my art practice.

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Q: The ceramic work is also a notable new addition. What spurred a jump from the canvas?

A: Sculpture making has always been an interest of mine. When I’m painting I think of each form as a sculpture, so naturally, it made sense to try to materialize some of these objects. I was experimenting at a ceramic studio for a year and a half before the pandemic, took a break from it but then decided to try to make some in the studio and lucky they turned out and made sense conceptually to include in the show.

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Q: What has been inspiring you?

A: I’ve been taking a break after several gruelling months of preparing for my solo show at Jeffrey Deitch and I’m pretty tapped out of inspiration right now but I’m reading two fiction books right which I don’t often do because I take myself too seriously. Fantasy by Kim-And Schreiber (recommenced by Lily Wong who you’ve had on this platform) and Severance by Ling Ma. I just finished Halston on Netflix and I thoroughly enjoyed the acting, the fashion, the drama and cinematography.

I generally get the post-show blues, where I’m unable to make work for a little while but I know it’s just my brain trying to recalibrate while I take in new information and experiences.

Q: What's next for you?

A: I have a two-person exhibition with Katherina Olschbaur at Nicodim in Bucharest for September and then a solo in LA with Nicodim next February 2022.

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COLLECTOR'S QUOTE

"Dominique’s work has a deep sense of emotion that is immediately arresting to the viewer. In her hands, objects and figures come alive, rendered with needs, desires, and stories – beyond the stoic cultural tropes and flattened stereotypes in 
a way that is unapologetic in its rejection of the Western gaze.”

LISA YOUNG & STEVEN ABRAHAM

The Here and There Collective, LLC is a New York limited-liability company operating through a fiscal sponsorship with Players Philanthropy Fund, a Maryland charitable trust recognized by IRS as a tax-exempt public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Federal Tax ID: 27-6601178). Contributions to The Here and There Collective are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.