Angela Tong

2018, BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting, Wimbledon College of Arts

"My work is about healing. When I grew up, I saw how my mother embroidered to release the pressures of family and commerce. My parents built a business importing textiles. In the office, my sister and I found a wonderland of fabrics. There was a shelf with textiles of strong colours with patterns of flowers. We climbed the shelf. It was like a jungle of primary colours connecting us to nature.
 
In my work, I translate my mother’s embroidery and my father’s search for nature as a way to connect with the sublime and peace. To the viewer I show nature as a meditation through its expanse, using colour and threads. I draw on the concept of the sublime using images and videos of oceans to transcend an ordinary day, seeking meaning and healing through nature. It is a way to escape the city centre through paintings and colours I search for hope from the deep. This makes me feel protected and calm, like the waves of the ocean in its cycle of movement. I follow my emotions from sadness to a sense of meaning, using materials and methods such as textiles and threads combined with collage. To me, these are tactile materials that communicate the sublime. I focus first on one colour, because I connect specific colours to the different eras of my emotions. This means I focus on each colour as a meditation. Yet, I believe that the colours are more than a visual language. The colours are there to establish a connection with others. When looking at my ocean paintings, I hope they open up a view bigger than what you see. To enable this sense of spaciousness I use thread that extends out of the paintings to the floor and across the wall.
 
Over the years, the ocean, the fabrics, my mother’s embroidery and her cutting circles began to connect with Buddhism which is part of my eastern heritage. In Buddhism, the circle represents the cycle of death and rebirth. Since then my work explores connections between my parents, myself and nature. Additionally, textile art is women’s work but also a feminist’s statement. I am drawn to the history of feminist textile art because it uses the material of this private part of women’s life making it powerful. I feel that these materials are honest, tactile and direct. Again, and again, the images of water fall, ocean and the flower of the textiles mix. "
Atlantis 2017
Painting
60cm x 80cm
Mirror 2018
Painting
122cm x 153cm
Silence 2018
Painting
122cm x 153cm

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