Chun | spot on

Chun (* 1996 in Hanoi, Vietnam as Ngọc Hà Phạm; lives and works in Vienna) ranks among that circle of innovative artists who are currently preventing the Austrian stasis of contemporary painting. After moving to Vienna in 2015 without much life experience or familiarity with German, he began his computer science studies at Vienna University of Technology in 2018. In a creative paradigm shift, a year later he joined the art and fashion school Herbststrasse before entering the renowned fashion design program at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. The direct involvement with textiles and embroidery there led him into a painterly practice in its holistically broadest sense. For this reason, he has been studying not only fashion design but contextual painting at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna since 2021.Chun’s works renounce the limitations of painting as a classical genre, replacing its foundational traits while advancing its concept in a profoundly unparalleled manner: As an intermediary conveyor between two and three dimensions, textile art subjugates itself to painting, generating works that inherit the form of meticulously coded hidden images that systematically guide the gaze and potently engage the whole spectrum of human perception. Connecting individual perceptive factors into a universal grid of pictorial efficiency, Chun operates a distinctive set of aesthetics that negotiates traditional references from art history while similarly incorporating collective memory moments from digital or analog popular media. His subjects are inextricably linked with childhood experience, visionary fantasies and nightmares made tangible through challenging our senses, thus providing a sub-subjective comprehensibility to the most immediate and personal experiences. Consequently, the optics of the surface and the haptics of materials are particularly decisive for Chun’s practice. His equitable and inseparable utilization of repurposing fabric off-cuts and industrial embroidery dissolves the pseudo-divergence between mass manufacturing and manual labor.

Teresa Kamencek, 2022