Contemporary by Angela Li is pleased to present Cigar Box, the solo exhibition of Hong Kong artist Ng Chung. The exhibition features his latest Cigar Box series in which he uses discarded cigar boxes as a medium, and his Bottle series where he focuses on using wine bottles as the subject of his oil paintings. His works explore the relationship between people and merchandises Ng comes across in his daily life.
Our lives are surrounded by countless commercial merchandises. The fact that they are everywhere make us unsettled, yet also make us ignore them. They broaden our experiences, but at the same time they redefine us.
With his studio situated in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong for more than two decades, it is inevitable for Ng Chung to notice alcohol, a merchandise that is everywhere, and put them onto his canvases. Accompanying the consumption of alcohol is the forever presence of cigars. Although cigars have already been the subject matters of Ng’s works, only until recently has he made the packaging of cigar the main focus, like he has done with that of alcohol.
As opposed to using wine bottles as the subject, discarded cigar boxes have become the medium of Ng’s works. The majority of the subjects painted on the cigar boxes are portraits of his friends, but these are not the usual representations of portraits, they are not really portraits of certain individuals. Ng uses the cigar boxes and tries to retain their most original looks and forms, through portraying his subjects in a light and humorous manner, he turns them into a certain type of people with wider implicational representations.
Ng Chung previously redefined wine bottles, and he has now given new life to cigar boxes.