Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Wordplay: An Artist Studio Visit with Fung Ming Chip

A week ago while I was in Hong Kong, I spent a lovely morning visiting the Sai Ying Pun studio of self-taught artist Fung Ming Chip, whose work has been included in collections at the Met and LACMA.

Fung Ming Chip in his studio (also his and Yim Tom's
home) showing me and fellow Chicagoan Inez Suen
his calligraphic artwork.

Thank you again, Ming and Yim, for welcoming me into your home, for your hospitality (tea, food, hugs), and—Ming—for waking up hours before you normally do to meet me (he usually gets up after noon—hashtag artist life).

Ming deconstructs Chinese calligraphy and pushes the medium in directions I never thought possible. With all the layers and depth, his pieces are “unphotographable,” and that need to see them in person is kind of the distinction between East vs. West; there’s an intimacy with traditional Chinese art in general, and before you open a scroll you don’t know what you’re about to find—you’re in for a surprise each time.

Also… Ming doesn’t have a website or anything, so you really do have to see his work in person!

Ming is also a photographer and showed us Polaroids he took back in the day.

If you’d like to reach Ming, get in touch with Yim Tom. She’s the wonderful woman I met at the Art Basel VIP Private View—in the Collectors Lounge someone called my name and it was a Chicago friend, Inez Suen, and Inez was there with Yim—and was the one from whom I learned “about how British colonial rule deliberately suppressed the development of culture and national identity in Hong Kong” (one of my “truth bombs” in my caption for this photo of me on Instagram and Facebook). And she and Ming are married, and they’re the perfect pair.

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