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Zheng Chongbin

May 3 - August 30, 2024


Journeys In Ink
series 1 - Zheng Chongbin

What do we see when we look at Zheng Chongbin's paintings?

Zheng Chongbin is an artist propelled by his experience and exploration of the natural world. His view, as expressed in his paintings, as with his practice, is non linear, even non-Euclidian, and multi-dimensional. It operates at the micro as well as the macro level, a view that attempts to capture the dynamics of change in natural processes and to convey the dimensions of time, light and space. He is concerned to explore the processes of our perception and awareness of nature and natural phenomena, as much as he is concerned with those phenomena themselves. The human/non-human dynamic is therefore central to his work. He wants us to understand his art, and ourselves, as part of a broader space, a broader architecture or landscape, to be continuous with the reality he is presenting.

His recent works in colour open a new vector in a long career of innovation, reinvention and reinterpretation of media and presentation of the natural world. We can be sure that the works in the current exhibition are the beginning of an important new phase in Zheng Chongbin’s development.

Looking at the Paintings


The titles of Zheng’s works are frequently suggestive of landscapes, geological and atmospheric phenomena. In the present exhibition we see titles such as Salt,Ecliptic Moment, Deconstructed Rock, Distanced Lights, Coriolis Path, and In-between the Land. But these should only be viewed as evocative starting points as we engage with the paintings, given that the works are not representational in any literal sense. The artist himself describes his works as “semi-abstract” - his is a vocabulary of light and space effects, often featuring landscape, biomorphic and anthropomorphic elements, but always suggestive, and never reaching the threshold of explicit representation, never representing a single perspective or even a singular or stable set of dimensions. Zheng’s images are thus always open to multiple “takes” or interpretations and the viewer’s imagination inevitably plays an important role in constructing, filtering, reconciling (or not) the multiple views, takes and dimensions at play. It is important to note that Zheng’s “monochrome” works are never exactly black and white. Each contains a rich spectrum of tonalities ranging from sepias, to bluish greys, deep indigos, and many gradations towards an absolute black which is never finally achieved. Some of these effects are the result of the dilution of the ink used, some the product of the way the ink is absorbed and filtered by the xuan paper. Many of the blue tonalities result from the interaction with the white acrylic paint - either ink on acrylic or acrylic on ink. When concentrated and layered, the ink creates subtle refractive effects as it forms

a three dimensional surface from the soot particles suspended in the animal collagen which binds the ink.

The “Invention” of Colour

Zheng’s shift to colour, arising out of his recent work in the print medium, is both a progression and a return. Zheng’s last exhibited works in colour were his Ink and Colour series from the mid 1980s. These works bear the animus of Zheng’s early expressionism, and were explorations in form and the interaction of media.

His colour works today extend the media and vocabulary of his painting practice evolved over the last 20 years. In some cases, he uses colour to accentuate the radiance of the monochrome elements in the painting. In others, to articulate the geometry. In others still, to create an explosive centre around which all other

elements in the work revolve. In all cases, the use of colour brings a powerful luminosity to bear, as he himself says, especially in the presentation of light and space. It is a luminosity hard to capture in reproductions - either in print or on screen. So it is essential to see the works themselves. He also tells us that he discovered new agency in the behaviour of the colour pigments and coloured ink - textures, filtering and absorption effects with the xuan paper - which is immediately evident from close examination of the paintings.

Zheng Chongbin artwork

Interview with Zheng Chongbin
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Zheng Chongbin interview with Gallery149


Gallery149 is a unique space amongst the art and antique dealers in Hong Kong's world-famous Hollywood Road. Occupying six stories in its own purpose-renovated building, GALLERY149 aims to be a place of continuum, intersection and juxtaposition where art and artifacts can find new contexts, relevance and significance.

We offers collectors depth, authenticity and quality. We are passionate about seeing beyond conventional boundaries and definitions to discover new connections - art and artisanship, design and expression, and established artists and new talent. Our exhibitions range from Asian antiques to objets d'art, installations, and contemporary paintings and sculptures.


​跨越時間、地理的緯度,如壹149不斷探索亞洲藝術文化發展過程、為收藏家們呈現具有深度、真實與高品質的體驗。如壹149 致力於超越傳統界限與定義,不斷發掘新關聯,包括藝術與手工藝、設計與表現、知名藝 術家與新秀之間的連結。如壹149 館藏豐富,從亞洲古董到工藝品,從裝置藝術到當代繪畫、雕塑,皆囊括其中。

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