Jo Cheung is a freelance illustrator currently living and working in London. She moved down to London to study illustration at The University of Westminster, since then she has been listed on Wallpaper Magazines 2010 Graduate Directory as well as been featured in numerous publications such as Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration and the Great Big Book of Fashion Illustration. She is taking part in the ?!X book project, ‘Creating The Future’ with an illustration for Tony Eves Future, “one in which all people treat each other with respect.”
JC : The Future I choose to live in is artists and creatives are able to voice their opinions, have free thought, individuality and make works of art without being suppressed in any way.
?!X: What’s a ‘think’ to create this future?
JC: As an illustrator it’s important to have your own view on current issues and be aware of what’s going on in the world, otherwise you’re living in a vacum which doesn’t inform you on your practise or discipline. Art can be a really powerful tool to reflect the political climate of that time/ what happening now as well as the personal thoughts of the artist.
A few months ago I went to see Joan Miro‘s exhibition at the Tate Modern and I have to say it was probably one of the best exhibitions I’ve been to. Miro lived through a time of political instability in Spain (the Spanish Civil War) and the dictator Francisco Franco all of this seeps through his work and career. He was greatly heavily influenced by the politics of that time.
I really enjoyed his earlier paintings of the Catalan Landscape but his Surrealist paintings are far more interesting. Miro was not only a talented painter but he was also able to create these beautiful images of dream like, whimsical and surreal sceneries filled with stars of chaos and disorder using symbols. Elements such as colour and shapes are used to represent these meanings. His paintings began to take on more abstract forms as objects and people are merely strokes of paint becoming part of his visual language.
My favourite pieces were a series of large lithographs titled The Barcelona Series which he expresses his thoughts of tyranny. Images of large monster’s heads, mouth open revealing sharp teeth, one eyed ogres these were based on dictator Franco and Pére Ub.
I admire Miro simply because when you look at his work it can be challenging but I think that’s what art is all about, art should provoke the viewers thoughts and make their own informed judgement.
?!X: What’s an ‘act’ to create the future you choose?
JC: Collaborations with artists and creatives in their local communities, having pop-up galleries to raise awareness around London/ other cities. It could possibly take on online where people could submit art to a theme and turn this to a magazine or a zine.
?!X: What’s a ‘vote’ to create the future you choose?
JC: The Arts Council so that we continue to promote art in the UK. And at least give the opportunity to people to access art where ever they are in the country.
?!X: Future Soundtrack – What song would you take with you into the future?
JC: New Order – Ceremony
?!X: Can you share with us up to 5 weblinks that you find interesting and inspiring?
Follow Jo on Twitter @jocheung
How can we Create the Future you Choose? Take part here.