Chinese Pictures

 

Chinese Pictures, 1987, is a series of drawings and paintings based on the Chinese character for my family name. It is an act of reclaiming a cultural heritage that, while I was growing up in Vancouver in the 1970s, was at odds with how “Canadian” was defined by the dominant white culture. However, as I am illiterate in Chinese and untrained in calligraphy, I asked my friend Gu Xiong, an artist from China now living in Vancouver, to paint the ideogram for “Tsang” (or “Zheng” if using the Pinyin system of romanisation). I then appropriated his rendition of my name in a variety of Chinese and western traditional artistic mediums that show my attempts to mimic, analyze, iconicize and claim an image and name that had been alienated from my early immigrant experience.

Text by Gu Xiong on Chinese Pictures

 

henry tsang 45   henry tsang 44

Oil and rabbitskin glue on linen, 48″ x 96″

 

img012   henry tsang 39

Ink on graph vellum, 36″ x 72″

 

img015   img017

Gouache and fabric dye on watercolour paper, 36″ x 72″

 

henry tsang 34

 

henry tsang 32

Ink on rice paper, mounted on silk scroll

 

img019   img020

Graphite on paper, 12 sheets, each A4 size

 

 

 



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