Meanings Within the Minute: Cheng Ting Ting’s “Recipient Absent”
Why We Recommend it
Hong Kong artist Cheng Ting Ting examines the meaning behind what most people would consider ordinary, even boring things — a worn-out boot, a pair of trainers and an old fridge — in her solo exhibition “Recipient Absent”.
“Recipient Absent”, refers to misdirected letters Cheng keeps receiving in her studio. These letters, mostly outstanding bills addressed to previous tenants, are a constant reminder of someone’s absence, and leave Cheng with the strange feeling of receiving something intended for someone else.
Paradoxically, Cheng’s paintings are not inaccessible at all – they are approachable, even welcoming. The artist makes no attempt to hide her painting process. She applies paint very selectively and often works with transparencies, leaving large parts of bottom layers and canvas visible. It is as if the artist allows us to look over her shoulder as she paints these works, and invites us to join her on her exploration of daily life.
Rather than trying to reproduce exactly how pots, chairs, or shoes look like in reality, the artist shows how she feels about them. Often depicted in thick, nervous brush strokes, the objects she paints become tools to investigate her own condition and place in the world, especially in the overwhelming urban ecology of Hong Kong.