Emotional Geometry is a body of work informed by Chinese philosophy, medicine and healing. Force Field (amygdala) is a sculpture that comes from that series of work, in which I visualise the energy meridians of the body as a form of armour. It is named after an organ located deep within the human brain, part of the limbic system, which is responsible for emotional learning and emotional memory.
This sculpture is a life cast of my own body, which is encased in a golden armature. This metallic exoskeleton is inspired by the ritual coordinates of acupuncture meridians, and is a structure that maps the force field of healing energy.
Courtesy of Artereal Gallery
Owen Leong is a contemporary artist exploring the transmission of culture and the body as a physical site of exchange. His work transforms the body through fictional selves to open a space for new identities to come into being. In recent work, Leong engages more deeply with his heritage; turning towards Chinese medicine, philosophy, and ancient systems of cultural knowledge to explore the poetics of healing.
Leong has exhibited widely in Australia and internationally including solo exhibitions at Artereal Gallery, Sydney; Dianne Tanzer Gallery + Projects, Melbourne; and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney. His work has been exhibited in major group exhibitions at Today Art Museum, Beijing; Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai; OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen; and the National Museum of Poznan, Poland.
In 2015, Leong received the prestigious Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award, one of the most important annual surveys of contemporary Australian photographic practice. And, in 2014, Leong was selected as one of 15 finalists in the Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Signature Art Prize at the Singapore Art Museum. As the only Australian artist to be shortlisted, his work was chosen from 105 nominated artworks from 24 countries.
Leong is the recipient of numerous awards and grants from the Australia Council for the Arts, Ian Potter Cultural Trust, Art Gallery of NSW and Asialink. He has held residencies at Artspace, Sydney; Centre for Contemporary Chinese Art, Manchester; Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; Tokyo Wonder Site, Japan; Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Shanghai; and is currently in-residence at Parramatta Artist Studios, Sydney. Leong's work is held in the public collections of Bendigo Art Gallery, Gold Coast City Gallery, Murray Art Museum Albury, and private collections in Australia and internationally.
Owen Leong holds a Master of Fine Arts by research at College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, where he studied printmaking, sculpture, performance and installation, and was the recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award.
plaster, gilded brass
43.5 x 45 x 31.5 cm
Judges of the 2016 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize: Wendy Whiteley OAM (Ambassador for the visual arts), Rhonda Davis (Senior Curator at Macquarie University Art Gallery) and Barry Keldoulis (CEO and Group Fairs Director of Art Fairs Australia).
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