Clement Cheng
4   Tangents

I am engaged in the expression of subjects which are matters of the mind and the heart, but which the eye does not
see.  I believe these 'abstract' matters are the primal driving forces within us as individuals.  We feel happy because
we sense certain abstract 'happy' emotions first, then, we recall images of, say, an enchanting scenery.  In this
website, I attempt to illustrate my appreciation for the language of abstraction.

My paintings aim to express and communicate my thoughts and sentiments on the world around and within us.  I
hope my artwork would provoke the viewers to consider and examine their own thoughts and sentiments.

In general, I avoid the use of images which are recognisable in the "physical world".   Such images, say a chair,
takes the viewer almost immediately to the end of the imagination pathway.  On the other hand, an allegory or an
imaginary object charts the starting point of the viewer's imagination journey.  

My paintings are not intended to be solely decorative or pretty.  If they possess these qualities, it is merely a
happenstance arising from built-in reflexes.  I believe visual art should speak to issues of humanity and human
consciousness.  Visual art should not simply be colour matches for sofas and couches, in the same way that  great
literature is not just about light-weight romance.  
1   Artist

Most of my career was spent in business corporations, during which time I painted and studied art on the side.  Nine
years ago, I became a full time artist, devoting all my time and attention to painting concepts that I find exciting and
invigorating.  I studied at Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, and also attended classes at the Saint Martins
College of Art and Design, London, U.K.   I have shown in galleries and exhibitions in Toronto, New York City and
2   Inspiration

I paint what my mind sees and senses, not what my eyes see.  In my early years, I ardently painted to jazz music.  
Today my paintings, as with instrumental music, do not reference any specific time, place, subject or event.  Rather,
they contain mental images, which, usually vague or surreal, are aimed to evoke emotions and sensations.  I strive
to include tension and ambiguity in my paintings, while leaving interpretation open-ended.  The viewer is free to
embrace the images, and usurp them to create one's own stories and experiences.  I believe that mental images
appeal to an intimate level of the subconscious and generate a direct and strong communication.  It is my wish that
my paintings can emote, as music can.
3   Series

I am particularly passionate about two aspects of painting.  First, I am very interested in the manipulation of the
field of depth.  Since paintings are illusions of 3D subjects on a 2D-plane, i think it is paramount that the painter
manipulates the depth in a painting to create the desired impact.  Hence, while the Diffusion series often
showcases images against infinite depth, the Stratification and Obscured series are highly textural paintings
whose "shallow" backgrounds push the images out of the wall towards the viewer.  Secondly, despite being an
abstract painter, I have a long-standing fascination for the emotional energy that the human figure can portray.  I
see the figure not as a physical "person", but as a purveyor of emotion.  While not truly a figure painter, I at times
venture to incorporate the figure in modern abstract settings, the Existential series, to express my sentiments on
the spiritual, mental and environmental challenges which the human spirit must confront in the world today.