Choichun Leung is an artist whose work is a personal multi media exploration of how both memory and meaning change and are both distorted and clarified over time. Leung believes in Nawal El Saadawi’s statement that “Memory is never complete. There are always parts of it that time has amputated.” Memories are not historical accounts of what happened but what the mind chooses to suppress, retain, forget or interpret and is a key aspect of one’s personal identity. Where memories are stored and shaped by language and imagery. They emerge consciously and unconsciously in our everyday lives without us often realizing how they affect our decisions and actions. Simply put, however they change, memories are clues to what was -- a “blueprint” of our past selves.
Leung’s art is a visual representation of the shaping of memory, retrieving and piecing together the missing parts, in essence making the fragmented whole. Her process involves paints poured onto the canvas and scraping over the poured lines until what remains on the canvas are remnants of the paint’s journey. Conceptually and actually, what was once hidden or revealed by scraping may later be reversed by the end of her process. Just as memory yields and hides events, so too does the creative process that Leung employs for each painting. Leung’s drawings in contrast delve into the black and white reality of her childhood. What started as small sketches of a young girl has developed over time into large scale drawings that show armies of females. What the drawings tell literally the paintings tell emotionally, creating a parallel journey of the unconscious and conscious states. Leung’s work shows a relationship to art as a cathartic journey. Through interacting with her work, the viewer is encouraged to overlay his/ her own story, memory and meaning. By instigating collective recollection, a larger and powerful dialogue can begin as personal identity is questioned.