Curated by Nicole Stanbridge
Rick Leong’s large scale paintings create haunting and lush landscapes that hover in the intangible realm of dusk. Influenced by both Chinese and Canadian landscape painting traditions, the themes articulated in Leong’s work begin in the natural world – forests, mountains, meadows and night skies – and become immersive spaces built from imagination and memory.
In keeping with Chinese landscape tradition these scenes are more than mere representations of nature. They are at once tangible and ethereal in their articulation of the psychological experience of dusk. As Leong states, “The Phenomenology of Dusk is the study of the phenomena that is illuminated by a waning light in the gathering darkness, encouraging the imagination to form the visible from the invisible.”
The imagery in his work leads us through a poetic narrative that speaks of utopic landscapes; an idealized and constructed view of nature that has been prominent throughout the history of Canadian landscape painting. Leong’s project for the LAB Gallery will feature a new series of work that evolved during an artist residency in Barcelona, Spain in January 2012.