Asian Artists to Watch 2024: Szelit Cheung

Each year, we identify the Asian artists on the rise, shining a light on the exciting and provocative works enriching the region’s artistic and cultural landscape. Hong Kong artist Szelit Cheung shares his story.

Not confining himself to just one creative area, cross-disciplinary artist Szelit Cheung works with painting, drawing, photography and installations. The latest concept to captivate him is the essence of void, and he explores this connection between presence and emptiness by using simple forms, colours and light as a means to echo and amplify intangible yet powerful sentiments. 

“I asked myself a question years ago,” says Cheung. “‘How do I remember a space – particularly an empty one? Is it because of the paint on the walls, the footprints on the floor, the dust floating in the air, a fleeting moment of light, or even just a passing glance?’ Whenever I observe these small details within a space, I unintentionally enter a contemplative state. Why do spaces evoke such wonderful imagination? What exactly is ‘empty space’? How can we present and sense the ‘void’? I’ve wanted to explore the essence of the void and see how far it would take me ever since.”

Szelit Cheung, Door 1 (2023)

Although he’s based in Hong Kong, Cheung’s work has been exhibited in the US, UK, Japan, France and Taiwan, as well as his home city. He’s taken part in group exhibitions, such as Door to Door, co-presented by The Shophouse and Schoeni Projects, Space and Memory in Whitestone Gallery, Sushi – A World in a Grain of Sand in Tokyo Gallery + BTAP and Architectural Representation in Chinese Contemporary Art at the One Thousand Museum, while his solo exhibitions include Dark and Space, both at Rossi & Rossi.

Despite these shows, Cheung’s gaze remains firmly fixed on the future, letting no single past experience define him and his art. “It’s hard to pinpoint a specific milestone, as every part or process is equally important,” he explains. “I tend to just go with the flow, see where it takes me and be more spontaneous about the process of making art, remaining curious about everything.” As a testament to this, he’s currently working on numerous projects headed for Germany and Australia, all of which we’ll all be looking forward to.

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