Relics and Remains: Dominique Fung's Grand Journey @ Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles
"I think we are all on board with the problematic depictions of women and people of color in historical European paintings," Dominique Fung told us in her feature in the Winter 2020 Quarterly. Instead of using a completely different language to move away from it, I’m interested in using it to negotiate with the past... I want to liberate these figures and objects, to give them a narrative through repetition over several paintings. These artifacts, vessels and sculptures are animate protagonists in my paintings, whereas historically, these objects have been seen as cultural tropes."
Her newest solo show, Relics & Remains, with Nicodim Gallery in Los Angeles, is a dense and beautiful showcase that fully realizes Fung's vision as a painter. Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada and years spent gaining knowledge on the artistic practice of "Vermeer, Manet, Rembrandt, and Goya, but her sense of Chinese heritage was largely informed by vessels and objects she saw at home and on display in the Asian art section during visits to the Met in New York." These Western artists fit the description of her quote above, and the amount of influence she takes from them and injects a completely original aesthetic gives these paintings a completely grand narrative of the ways we look at art history, even if through the lens of one work.
As the gallery notes, "Fung’s first solo exhibition with Nicodim, is the result of the subsequent years of research into her motherland’s cultural history, casting the objects in the Met she once fetishized as an entry point. These paintings are the artist’s dark and playful exploration of her own jook-sing-ness; they navigate and reclaim the water of her identity suspended within bamboo."