An exhibition of recent paintings by Su-Li Hung -- seductive colorful abstractions of trees in all seasons as a metaphor that captures the cyclical nature of our lives -- will open at the June Kelly Gallery on Thursday, January 5. The work will remain on view through February 7.
Hung sees beauty in the tree itself -- in the strength of its trunk, the limitless variety in the shape of its leaves, its bark rough or perhaps smooth, in the remarkable skeletal appearance of its branches when the leaves fall. Trees have been a principal focus of her work since the 90s – an enduring passionate interest in the abstraction she sees in trees in all their permutations.
“The tree grows, leaves come, go, and return, evoking for me new inspiration with each season,” Hung says.
Especially in winter, she says, when trees lose their leaves, “a wonderful pattern of tangled branches emerges, and the sky is revealed in this tangle as a mosaic, colorful tiles of light held firmly in the trees’ grip.”
In the current exhibition, Hung has used diptychs in some paintings to contrast the dominant presence of the tree itself and the hypnotic tracings of the branches against the sky with the delicacy and uniqueness of a single leaf, in which she says “I see a map, the wind, the air, the seasons.”
Hung’s works have been shown in many one-person and group exhibitions in the United States, Asia and Europe. Thirty-one books of her poetry and essays have been published in the past decade in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Hung was born in Taiwan and lives and works in New York. She is a graduate of the National Taiwan University in Taipei and also studied at the Art Students League and the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York.
Hung’s work is represented in numerous collections world-wide, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, the British Museum in London, the National Museum of Fine Art in Hanoi, the National Museum of History in Taipei, the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress and Alliance Capital Management, New York.