Gordon Cheung creates hallucinogenic visions inspired by
a wide range of sources including science fiction, 18th century
romantic painting, zombie films, cartoons and current affairs.
His works reflect on such contemporary issues as the war on
terror, religion, economics, globalisation, the digital age
For this exhibition, the artist will create a significant
new body of works including contemporary interpretations of
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Goya’s Disasters
of War. For the first time, sculpture and animations will
be shown alongside his more familiar mixed media paintings.
The theme of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse runs throughout
the exhibition ranging from a large wall painting to a series
of laser etchings to sculptures and an animated video installation.
The horse and rider is an evocative symbol loaded with cultural
references. The story of the Four Horsemen is a biblical reference
which has prompted a range of interpretations. Representing
Conquest, War, Famine and Death, Cheung gives them a contemporary
twist, transforming them into eloquent metaphors of our own
In his brand new animations, references to cowboys and bull
riders are clearly apparent. As cultural icons, they commonly
represent a romantic image of the pioneering spirit or man’s
will to overcome nature but they also mask a history of violence,
bloodshed and cruelty. Cheung’s riders are seated on
bulls rather than horses. Man and beast together reference
the minotaur, a mythical creature from Greek mythology comprised
of half man and half bull. As with his characteristic use
of stock listings from the Financial Times, man and bull symbolise
the Bull Market or Stock Market and the data-saturated and
wealth-obsessed era in which we live. As the viewer of the
4 projections, we are surrounded by bucking minotaurs in a
post-apocalyptic landscape endlessly circling and struggling
to de-seat their riders. To see each animation, we must also
turn around, our physical relationship to the work creating
a disorientating and unsettling effect.
The exhibition also includes two brand new series’
of laser etchings based on Durer’s depiction of The
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Goya’s Disasters
of War. Cheung has taken the original images and manipulated
them to further enhance these demonic visions. A brand new
series of sculptures has also been created using a cast of
a Long Horn Bull skull.
Cheung has also created a new set of thirty portraits which
represent the Top Ten Billionaires, the Top Ten Dead Celebrities
who are still earning and the Top Ten Hackers. They are symptomatic
of our obsession with wealth, celebrity and power. Cheung
has allowed the paint to drip down his canvases, creating
an appearance of melting flesh and recalling classic zombie
films where the protagonists are motivated by an overpowering
will to consume and destroy.
At the beginning of the twenty first century, we have already
witnessed apocalyptic events in terms of war, natural disasters,
the collapse of the economy and environmental change. In his
work, Cheung appears to capture something of the essence of
this age. By re-visiting history, he has created work that
is both contemporary and compelling.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue
with an essay by Paul Hobson, director of Contemporary Art
Society. The catalogue will be published in September.
The artist will lead a tour of his exhibition on Saturday
3 October at 2pm.
Please reserve your free place in advance by calling 01922