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By directing and guiding a mixture of Sumi ink and water, Sapira Cheuk creates androgynous figures that appear to move weightlessly across a stark white backdrop. As the two liquids converge and repel one another during the painting process, the dyadic relationship between them produces sinuous, angulating patterning throughout boundaries set forth by the artist’s hand. Once the mixture dries, the negative space of the evaporated water appears to bend and curl through the sea of black ink – silently reminding the viewer of the water’s ephemeral existence.

Much like the evaporated water in the paintings, trauma or great change can affect an individual long after it has passed. For this exhibition, Cheuk is exploring how individuals cope mentally and physically with those external forces and what remains after. Through her work, she meditatively attempts to control the uncontrollable. While we may never be able to avoid change or trauma, we can, like the artist’s hand, control how it leaves its mark on the paper of our lives.

 

Image: Sapira Cheuk, Aligned Parallel (detail), Sumi ink on paper, 2020, dimensions variable