My work is an attempt to manifest divine experiences and revelations. Cultures are enmeshed, the supernatural is given physical form, and I attempt to answer questions of divinity. The viewer is asked to become part of my spiritual questions, questions asked in a language that is a blend of satire and mysticism. My hope is to show that what is sacred can be all around, and within you in the most unexpected places. I wish to show a global state of an unexpected hybrid religion, and place the viewer squarely within this new and surprising faith.
The world my work exists in is a hallucinatory one: a world that is a reflection of our culture, in the costume of the indigenous other. I believe that showing the core of our values in the disguise of an exotic culture allows enough separation for the viewer to be able to understand things they take for granted within their own lives.
Thomas Chung received his MFA from Yale University in 2013. Born and raised in New Jersey, Chung's work is a refreshing and unexpected twist of identity politics and mysticism. The work is oftentimes humorous, deeply personal, and exceedingly self-aware, but it is always sincere in the places that count.From paintings of starving Ethiopian children covered in Cheetoh dust, to transformed gallery spaces 3 feet deep in dirt and animatronic deities, Chung is truly a jack of all trades. This young emerging artist juggles not only a staggering range of media, but topics such as racial identity, globalism, and consumer culture with an interchangeability that implies a pained lightheartedness. With a background in anthropology as well as art, and years of field work studying in places as remote as the amazon basin and the Mongolian plains, the point of view Chung brings to his work is an ambitious and unique one.