Channelling the atmospheric philosophy of yin and yang, Ng Sum Chi explores the concept of fading memories through a series of haunting ink paintings.
Referring to his travels, Ng mentions how as time passes, his “experiences and memories” become gossip” (Sum Chi, 2016). The flow of time is part of life, and the artist is fascinated by it. With this philosophy, even intangible things such as memories and experiences can be considered nature. Within his artist statement, Ng believes “they [memories] are just like natural circulations, endless.”
Before graduating from Hong Kong Baptist University in 2014, the young artist was already exhibiting his work in Dresden (Germany) and Nagoya (Japan), as well as becoming a finalist for the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Award.
Post graduating, Ng was selected by the Royal Academy of Art in London to become artists in residence, amongst other artists from London and Beijing, as part of the academy’s collaborative project. A highly respected honour, this experience enriched Ng’s work which explores the connection between himself, the theme of travel, and nature.
There are many layers to the artist’s identity, which plays a part in his work. Raised in Hong Kong but often mistaken as Japanese, as well as having a western education, Ng collates his life experiences into his use of materials. Ink pays homage to his culture as it relates to ancient Chinese art. Resin gives the ink depth, and “by presenting overlapping spaces, I [the artist] use resin to create different spaces by layers” (Ng Sum Chi, 2016).
Using the same philosophies found in Chinese paintings to express movement in his work – where man and heaven unite – Ng finds he is able to transcend to a higher being.
“Change and movement is not only present in our exchange with nature, but also records the flowing of time and space.”
With special thanks to Ng Sum Chi for his artistic insight and personal comments.