At first glance, Fung Hoi Shan's works are anything but extraordinary. They are plain with simple composition and many without an objective resemblance. One could easily mistake them as wallpaper or graphic design patterns. But a closer look focusing on their patterns and texture would reveal a new set of order that ultimately defines the artist's style. Such order can be found in Fung's early works such as Ripple series where the artist painted a leopard in front of a classical gongbi background. While her animal is depicted in realistic manner, the artist creates small groups of peripheral narratives centered on a specific theme. Fung's graduation work, Wandering in the Silence Wilderness, is a good example of the combination of this micro and macro perspectives. Inspired by repetitive patterns, Fung meticulously painted each tile and window frames to create an overall backdrop that resembles an abstract work. Small circles or groups of patterns are repeated arbitrarily. The leopard is then occupied the center ground, standing still while her own skin pattern echoes and complements the background scheme. The success of this set lies in their ability to manipulate simple forms and patterns which turn into something visually and psychologically enticing and bizarre.
The interaction between artificial and organic motifs is the focus of Fung's present exhibition, Eudaemonia. In her first show since graduation, Fung demonstrates a confident and coherent theme that emphasizes only on patterns. Wisp, Blossom and Precious present an abstract arrangement of leaves and animal skin patterns. The artist painstakingly painted every detail and arranged them in a specific order. Instead of inserting small narratives, these new works all have a broader, more connotative intention. Even in more “recognizable” pieces such as Reflection and Shield, there is an intention to play tricks to our perception, either from the split screen technique or juxtaposition (like Yin and Yang) of two halves.
Most importantly, unlike Wandering in the Silence Wilderness, there are no realistic portrayals or are there any small groups of recognizable motifs. What the audience sees are patterns and forms suggestive of their original forms (whether they are animals or flowers), their behavior and our general perception of them. These patterns are constantly working with and against each other, confusing the viewer with their likeness and unlikeness, familiarity and foreignness, consciousness and sub-consciousness.
The micro and macro orders and the organic and artificial combination of Fung Hoi Shan's previous works are now better integrated in a harmonious whole, giving rise to new sets of opposites. In her new works, Fung prefers suggestive power to descriptive function, patterns and senses over form and narratives.