The pyrographic landscapes of Michelle Loa Kum Cheung


With just three weeks to go until our upcoming exhibition CULTURAL DIARIES, we catch up with exhibiting artist MIchelle Loa Kum Cheung about what she has planned for the show.

You first exhibited with Focus LDN in Winter 2016, tell us what you have been up to since then.

Wow - I can’t believe it has been that long since I first exhibited with Focus LDN! I still remember the opening night quite vividly. Since then I have been exhibiting my work at The Other Art Fairs, with Saatchi, had my first collaborative two-person show in London and embarked on my first international artist residencies. In general I’ve also just become more of a Londoner; in Winter 2016 I had only been in London for one and a half years and now I have called it home for close to five!

How does culture play a role in your work?

The role culture plays in my work, and the inspiration for my work, derives from my own family heritage and geographical movement. I myself have moved from my childhood home Sydney, Australia, to live in London and whilst I identify as an Australian and have never been to China, I feel the echoes of my Chinese/ Mauritian heritage all the time. Identity can be a fluid concept and while people will also be where home is, for me I cannot help but be immensely swayed by the environments around me and the myths, history and traditions of places themselves.

Rise, 2019 |Pyrography and liquid leaf on wood | 60x60cm (framed)

Abercwmeiddaw Quarry, 2019 | Pyrography and acrylic on wood | 60 x 90 cm

How is this exhibition different from previous exhibitions you have participated in?

I think all the artists, Milenna, KV and Tom, can agree that this has been an extremely involved and organised exhibition! Not to say that I am a disorganised person, but there is an energy and vigour that we have brought to the creative and planning process and have spent many months working on it. I have had one other collaborative show with just one other person in London in 2017, and it’s great to be doing it again. To be able to shape the structure and vision of a show from the ground up is truly exciting and we are all showing new work, some of which we have yet to see even from each other. Another thing for us to look forward to!

What do you have in store for us this November?

For this show I will have a collection of new pieces from this year, including signature pyrography paintings and tondo paintings and there will also be hand burned paper pieces and works with a particular focus on the art of pyrography to highlight the intricacies of the natural environment. I have mainly taken reference from Chinese myth, real Chinese landscapes and Australian landscapes and I’ll even have some pieces which I created at a residency earlier this year in Goa, India.

What does success look like to you?

Success to me, like identity, is a continually evolving construct – right now as an artist it is to be self-sustaining.

To see Michelle’s latest artworks and find out more about our latest exhibition Cultural Diaries click here. 

Click here to RSVP to the private view on Tuesday 26th November 6-9pm at the Old Brompton Gallery.