Cecile Chong’s lush paintings merge children’s books with her Chinese and Ecuadorian heritage

The artist merges these layers and materials to create a pigmented swirl of rich blues, greens and whites, as seen in works like Parental advice (in blue) and Para Ti, for you (both 2021). Figures of children that evoke both Chinese and Euro-American imagery are literally strung across the densely layered canvas. And unlike the books Chong cites, the paintings themselves are incomplete accounts, which also speak to his experiences merging fragmented cultures. “I grew up learning and forgetting languages ​​(Spanish, Cantonese, Hakka and English),” she writes, “so picture books and especially picture dictionaries were very important to me. I could interpret meaning through immediate visual cues.

For Chong, the imagery of children became a means of bringing together his various cultural practices. Lore’s paintings share this potential for unity, the universality of child’s play that reminds us of the incredible power of the imagination.

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