Memory is never complete. There are always parts of it that time has amputated. Writing is a way of retrieving them, of bringing the missing parts back to it, of making it more holistic." Nawal El Saadawi
Our memories are not historical accounts of what happened but what we choose to extract, interpret, retain or forget and is a key aspect of our personal identity. How we remember the past is how we propel ourselves into the future, it moulds our interaction with people, current events and experiences.
Some memories are shaped by language, others by imagery, some are deeply suppressed through trauma. Yet they emerge consciously and unconsciously in our everyday lives without us oftentimes noticing. They are clues to what was, a blue print of our past selves.
My work is simple traces of that activity- in the faintest of watermarks symbolic of the fading and passing of time and in the improvised scripts where subconscious thoughts emerge and are obscured.
Meaning is not given priority, instead the visual nature of the gesture and form take over, enabling interpretation. The repetition of words re-enforces the act of encoding, processing, storing and retrieval of information.
Through the use of diluted pigments, paints are poured onto the canvas. Water moves - and what remains are remnants of its journey. Forming around the calligraphic scripts oftentimes covering them entirely. What is left is the memory of the movement. Through the process of sanding down or painting over, their remains are hidden or revealed once again. - CHOICHUN LEUNG, 2015
Choichun Leung was raised in Wales, born to a British mother and Chinese father. Leung earned a degree in 3D design specializing in metal smithing in the U.K., and later operated a metal studio fabricating her vessel designs and percussion instruments. Leung participated in the Ray Man Chinese Orchestra in London, performing Chinese classical and folk music. She later studied Buddhist symbolism at the Yangung Caves archaeological site in China, and afterwards worked as a background artist for animation films in Hong Kong.
She then assisted the painter Peter Max in New York City throughout the mid-'90s, and briefly pursued audio/visual electronica music composition and performance in Koln, Germany. She began the memory explorations via painting in 2006, and currently works from her studio in Brooklyn, NY. Alongside her painting, Leung is also producing and directing film shorts in parallel with the theme of memory.
Choichun Leung is also the creator of 'The Young Girl Project' which gives a face to child sexual abuse while providing a hub of information for children, survivors, and protectors to educate and empower one another to break the silence of abuse.. What started as a single sketch has since grown into a multi-disciplinary art project involving drawings, paintings, film, books, activism and collaborations that gives voice to the silent child. Its aim is to raise awareness and break the silence around a taboo subject and involve young adults and children into that conversation.
In 2018 Leung partnered with Lux Capta Films (First Reformed) as subject/producer of ‘The Art Of Survival’, a mixed media documentary currently in production.
‘The Young Girl Project’ is now a non profit organization.