Kong Ho – Artist Showcase

Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery is extremely pleased to announce that Kong Ho has been named as the Gallery’s new featured artist and he will now be promoted by the gallery for the next 14 days in the gallery’s Artist Showcase.

Kong is an award-winning artist based in the Pennsylvania, USA who specializes in representational-imaginative floral-spiral paintings. Kong was selected as 1 of the top twelve finalists in the gallery’s 20th Solo Art Exhibition Series. The placement in this competition qualified his art to be showcased in this feature.

Kong’s Artist Showcase feature will be promoted to over 350+ major news outlets, with inclusion on Google News & Bing News. In addition, the gallery will also be featuring and promoting her artwork in the gallery’s various social media networks for further exposure.

Below are Kong’s Artist Biography, Artist Statement and 5 images that were submitted to this competition.

Artist Biography

Kong Ho utilizes his bicultural background as a teaching artist and muralist professionally trained in both Chinese and Western visual art to teach and practice art. Currently, Ho is a full-time artist and muralist based in Pennsylvania. He earned a M.F.A. in painting and drawing at Texas Tech University in 1994. Since then, he taught as art professor and practicing artist at several universities, including USC-SJTU Institute of Cultural and Creative Industry, University of Southern California and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, University of Brunei Darussalam, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Hong Kong Baptist University, and University of Hong Kong. Ho has received several fellowships, including Visiting Research Fellowship; Fulbright U.S. Scholarship, taught mural painting at the National Academy of Art in Sofia, Bulgaria, for 5 months; VSA Arts Teaching Artist Fellowship; Hong Kong Baptist University Fellowship; Sasakawa Fellowship; International VSA arts Festival Fellowship; and Fellowship for Artistic Development. Always looking for new opportunities to inform the public of the educational and cultural value of community murals, he founded the Hong Kong Mural Society in 1997. After that, he has organized and painted numerous school and community murals in the past 23 years.

In addition to his mural art, his representational-imaginative paintings have been exhibited in 16 solo exhibitions and more than 120 international and national exhibitions including United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Japan, China, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Hong Kong. His art work has been exhibited in venues such as the United Nations Headquarters, Chelsea Art Museum and American Council for the Arts Exhibition Space in New York City; World Bank Art Gallery and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC; the US Ambassadors' Residences in Macedonia; Clymer Museum and Gallery in Washington; Amarillo Museum of Art and Brownsville Museum of Fine Art in Texas; Fine Arts Museums in New Mexico; Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg; San Diego Museum of Art and Los Angeles Center for Digital Art in California; Sunny Art Center in London; Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery in Canada; Kunstquartier Bethanien in Berlin; Atelier Montez in Rome; National Academy of Art and New Bulgarian University in Bulgaria; Museum of Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts and Peking Museum of Art in China, Osaka Prefecture University in Japan, National Institute of Education Art Gallery in Singapore, Poh-Chang Academy of Arts in Thailand, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong Heritage Museum and Hong Kong Museum of Art in Hong Kong. Moreover, Ho has participated in several residency programs, including Kingsbrae International Residence for the Arts in Canada, Vermont Studio Center in Vermont, Bethany Arts Community in New York, Soaring Gardens in Pennsylvania, I-Park in Connecticut and British Council in Hong Kong.

His research in community murals and transcendental paintings led to the publishing of his two books, Larger Than Life: Mural Dreamscapes and A Stroke in Time: An Artist's Memoir of Kong Ho in 2016. Moreover, his research papers have been presented in 38 conferences and published in 10 peer-reviewed journals and 12 conference proceedings, such as Teaching Artist Journal, The International Journal of the Arts in Society, History Research, Journal of Art and Design, The Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities Official Conference Proceedings, Arts Education Conference Proceedings, and The Visual and Performing Arts: An International Anthology. Moreover, his work has been reviewed in Studio Visit, Vol. 19, 2012; Direct Art, Vol. 18, 2011; New Art International, Vol. 14, 2010; United States Embassy Skopje – ART in Embassies Program, 2006; Pennsylvania Wilds: Images from the Allegheny National Forest, 2006; Asian Art News, Vol. 13, No. 4, 2004 and The New Art Examiner, 21 No. 5, 1994 and Art in America, Feb. 1994.

Artist Statement

Sumptuously painted in a technique consisting of free-flowing wave-like patterns held in check by subtly controlled washes of glaze and exacting trompe l'oeil floras and shells, my floral and nautilus paintings exemplify the theme and style indicative of my ongoing body of work, the "Luminosity Series."

In my recent series, I have created an asymmetrical composition by off-setting the circular shapes of the primary spiral of the nautilus shell and the floral images against the angular edges of the squared off canvas. Further interest is added to the composition through the articulation of the nautilus shell's segments and the structure of natural flora. I achieve a feeling of dramatic motion by obliterating portions of my ornately patterned objects by merging them with a background of sweeping ribbons, rippling draping, folding petal veins, floating seashells, and dancing stripes. My composition is supported by a dense spatial field of interpreted interactions of forms and patterns found in nature. These patterns include repetitive clusters of meandering lines and portioned color filled areas that suggest ambiguous space. Rhythmic movement is created from a simultaneous saturation and pastel dissolution of the aforementioned contrasting colors within the pictorial space. A sense of fundamental transformation for which no beginning and end can be discovered evolves from this body of work. Contrasting colors with meandering lines, and precisely rendered floral images and improvised random patterns, add to the feeling of engagement with rather than separation from my life experience of Eastern and Western cultures and transcendental belief in Zen Buddhism. Through my art, I try to explore traditionally popular garden flowers in a contemporary context. By bridging the gap of tradition and contemporariness, I connect the opposing aesthetics of the celebrated garden flowers with the transcendental world of spirituality. My Luminosity Series is classic in some respects because it pays homage to traditional floral still lives. The ambiguous space settings of my floral and nautilus painting is a departure from realism because the space depicted is abstract or non-representational. The ambiguous space creates the transcendental or spiritual illusion that is a vital expression in my work.

The distinctive palette of my Luminosity Series is about new sensory experience mingled with nostalgia for familiar one. No matter where I have relocated to in the past, the local plants and flowers always bring back old memories or pangs of yearning in my heart. Nostalgia is more powerful than memory alone. The shades of blue and magenta, like Yin and Yang, help to capture the timeless and transitory moments of my life’s journey. I believe that incredibly delicate and complex plant blooms display not only the beauty of nature but also the transcendental longing of humanity for a world beyond this one. The motivation behind my floral and nautilus paintings is to hold on to the essence of the transitional feeling, memory, time and space of an ephemeral moment. In the Zen Buddhist sense, daily life experience is unique in itself. It is essential to live in a moment of my daily life. It may seem contradictory to try to rematerialize what is already gone, but a part of the large historical rational behind humankind’s reasons for making art seems to favor into this endeavor. The beauty of a short-lived flower evokes a melancholic sense of transience of life and leaves a memory trace that speaks to me about the inevitable processes of change. My art embodies the experience of transition, a sense of the bitter-sweet—of the time in-between—a feeling of the loss for a past that is left behind, and the excitement of new connection in the future.

Kong’s website is www.kongho.com.

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