Dominique Fung

May 25, 2021
Tell us about your practice.
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 repurposing ideas. I reference everything from Dunhuang frescoes, European historical paintings, objects from The Metropolitan Museum’s collection, and objects in auction catalogs to create uncanny scenes with allegorical depth.
Your works reflect on Orientalism and the fetishization of Asian women. How does the theme evolve to your latest body of work?
This is a hard question to answer because I see this body of work in the same realm as the last. The specularized yellow woman/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 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 in 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 the painting, of the surface, of color, 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.
The ceramic work is also a notable new addition. What spurred a jump from the canvas?
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 luckily they turned out and made sense conceptually to include in the show.
What has been inspiring you lately?
I’ve been taking a break after several grueling 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 now 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 the 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.
What’s next for you?
I have a two-person exhibition with Katherina Olschbaur at Nicodim in Bucharest in September and then a solo in LA with Nicodim next February 2022.

Watch Instagram Live

Stay in the loop