Gordon Cheung – Paradise Found Paradox

Gordon Cheung’s “Paradise Found Paradox” marks his inaugural solo showcase in Singapore, bringing together a captivating blend of mixed-media landscape paintings, still-life compositions, and unique sculptures. Inspired by the tranquil essence of a Chinese scholar’s garden, Cheung ingeniously intertwines the beauty of nature with humanity’s profound aspirations.

Cheung’s distinctive approach unfolds a narrative of paradoxes within the concept of ‘Paradise Found’. Delving into the intricate interplay between the idyllic notion and the obscured shadows of colonization, the artist navigates through history’s complex truths. ‘Paradise Found’ historically served as a pretext for colonial expansion, often masking the devastating impact on indigenous communities. Cheung’s art eloquently weaves this colonial narrative 

with the sanctuary of a Chinese scholar’s garden, inviting viewers on a contemplative voyage through the annals of victor-written histories.

Vibrant blooms and ever-changing landscapes coexist with imagery drawn from the scroll paintings of the 40 views of Yuanmingyuan, also known as the Old Summer Palace in Beijing. This imperial sanctuary fell victim to looting and incineration during the 2nd Opium War, an event that resonates in Cheung’s poignant canvases. The artist seamlessly integrates references to the Dutch Golden Age still-life paintings, drawing parallels to the economic collapse known as Tulipmania. This period also witnessed the emergence of Modern Capitalism, propelled by entities like the East India Trade Company, which played a pivotal role in the global spread of colonialism, militarized trade routes, and the abhorrent practice of slavery.

In “Paradise Found Paradox”, the Chinese scholar’s garden emerges as both a resplendent Eden and a poignant symbol of loss, echoing intertwined tales of home, paradise, and conquest. Cheung’s artworks provoke contemplation, encouraging us to delve into the multifaceted layers that shape our perceptions of paradise and the enduring legacies of colonization. Through this transformative experience, viewers are invited to question the veracity of histories written by victors and, in turn, foster a deeper understanding of our shared human narrative.

Gordon Cheung’s “Paradise Found Paradox” promises to be a thought-provoking and visually arresting exhibition, unveiling the complexities that define our notions of paradise. Don’t miss this opportunity to embark on a journey of reflection and empathy, shedding light on the enigmatic tapestry of our collective history.

Get the e-catalogue here.

Gordon Cheung – Paradise Found Paradox

Gordon Cheung – Paradise Found Paradox