Inside The Studio: Fung Ming Chip

8th November, 2013

FungMingChip1Our time in Hong Kong feels so long ago already, but an afternoon spent there in the home studio of artist Fung Ming Chip has continued to inspire me. It’s always exciting to peek behind the curtains into the creative process of fascinating people, and Mr. Fung is one whose influence spans the globe. FungMingChip2His work involves deconstructing and reassembling Chinese calligraphic lines and strokes, thus giving new life to this ancient art form. Calligraphic tradition includes five basic script types, but he has invented over one hundred new interpretations of his own, without abandoning or obfuscating the meaning of the symbols ~ a remarkable feat that has earned him a place in some of the most prominent private and public collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. FungMingChip3 FungMingChip4There seems to be a division in China between the past and the present, between those who would maintain the ancient traditions and the many who are fighting for a more Western version of modernity. But as Mr. Fung softly unfurled his hanging scrolls, one extraordinary piece at a time, I felt like a peaceful bridge had been built between the two. Indeed, while most contemporary Chinese art carries Western overtones, he believes this will change over time ~ that as the nation becomes more powerful, so its artists will become more aware of its culture and celebratory of that heritage. FungMingChip5Mr. Fung is self-taught, which accounts for some of the freedom he feels to break and build upon the traditions of the master calligraphers. Without discarding their conventions, he is able to infuse the rich influence of American artists like Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell. FungMingChip6 FungMingChip7 FungMingChip8Even the fashion world is enchanted by Fung Ming Chip, as evidenced by ‘Les Poemes du Mandarin‘, the tableware collection that Hermes commissioned him to design. FungMingChip9 FungMingChip10LoveGold has also collaborated with Fung Ming Chip on artistic commissions, and it was because of that mutual relationship that I had the honor of being invited to spend an afternoon with the artist and his wife, Yim Tom, in the sun-drenched loft they share in Hong Kong. Unsurprisingly, she too is a creative powerhouse, who collaborates with their many international friends to design playfully luxurious, one-of-a-kind pieces of gold jewelry, which I was delighted to find scattered around their airy apartment. FungMingChip11 FungMingChip12 FungMingChip13 FungMingChip14 FungMingChip15 FungMingChip16 FungMingChip17If you find yourself in NYC between December 11th and April 14th, 2014, I urge you to stop off at the MET and check out Fung Ming Chip’s thoroughly modern but historically dense artwork, as part of the upcoming ‘Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China‘ exhibit. I myself can’t wait to see it!

|PHOTOGRAPHY| by Zachary Lynd

TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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