Theresa Chong’s delicate works on paper consist of meandering lines punctuated by minute painted elements that convey a sense of rhythm, meter and lyric beauty. References to music, opera, architecture, calligraphy, and literature are transformed into an abstract visual language expressing a full range of human experience. While open to multiple associations and varied interpretation the work remains fundamentally and purely abstract.
Music is an inspiration for Chong, who studied the cello at Oberlin College and, as a graduate student at the School of Visual Arts, came under the influence of John Cage. While working in New York for composer/conductor Peter Kotik, Chong had the opportunity to meet Cage several times; Cage’s use of chance in his music, as a way of expanding the range of sound, considerably affected her approach to art. Chong has also been inspired by abstract expressionism, its energy and spontaneity, as in the work of de Kooning and Pollock, and by pop art, particularly the clarity of line in the work of Lichtenstein.
Theresa Chong was born in Korea in 1965 and immigrated with her family to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1974. She attended Oberlin Conservatory, Ohio (1984-85) and the Boston University School of Fine Arts (B.F.A., 1989). She also attended the School of Visual Arts, New York (M.F.A., 1991). Her work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Yale University Art Gallery and the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, among others. Chong participated in the faculty residency program at the Anderson Ranch in Colorado in 2003 and 2005. She was recently awarded a grant from the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation, and she has received fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts). Theresa Chong lives and works in New York.
Numerous articles have been written about her work in publications such as; The Boston Globe, Art in America, The New Yorker, Art Asia Pacific, Style Weekly, The New York Times, Artnet Magazine, LA Weekly, and Flash Art.