Colors and Contrast with Pao-Leng Kung



“Sometimes, I feel like I am searching the space which is not located in between something,” said abstract artist Pao-Leng Kung.


One of the most important tools in the artist’s work is white- the color and the concept. “Normally, I use ‘white’ as a force to expand unlimited space or as an emptiness to fill all the colours by imagination,” Kung explained. “Also ‘white’ could refer to the white of exhibition space, gesso, and the normal canvas. Because of this, it opens far more possibilities to transfer the undefined space inside and outside of my paintings.”


For Kung, colors are both the main and supporting characters. Colors, boundaries, space, and layers are all interconnected, slowly transporting the viewer to another warped dimension. And yet when they look around, they see that this world that they live in is in fact made up of all the pieces of the painting and that they too are part of its canvas.


From growing up and studying art in Taiwan to moving to London for her Master of Arts degree, Kung has experienced the contrasts between art and its multiple worlds Studying at the Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan, there can be a disconnect between student and artist. Art students are still learning, still blossoming, and still not fully developed in their craft. However, London is more loose with its terms. At the Royal College of Art, “school is just kind of a platform to help and start discussions with artists all around the world.”


Kung has found some sort of freedom in London. It is the freedom to break loose and be bold. It is the freedom to reimagine the world. Even as the space around her changes, Kung continues to go the mental distance. “In London, all the things are new for me. It is a way to get out of my comfort zone, to break down the things that I’m familiar with, and then build up again. I reckon I’ve started to experiment with more possibilities.” She still yearns to discover more about the world and the various realms that exist within it through her work.


Her own triumphs are difficult for Kung to describe. “Every step is not easy,” she admitted, “I still believe that when I can face my works, its viewers, and the crafting of the creations that I really enjoy—then, all becomes good enough for me.”

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