Carolyn Cheng Surfacing

May 6–14,  2023

Surfacing is a series of works that reveals the means of bitumen production from Canadian oil sands. By abstracting large scale remote mining operations from the air, the images showcase organic and ethereal shapes, vibrant yet toxic colours and the intricacies of natural patterns amongst mechanized forms of production. The images also evoke the esteemed tradition of Chinese calligraphy, further conflicting the work, with the realization that these often expressive and poetic brushstrokes are the environmental waste products on tailings ponds from mining operations. Surfacing thus invites the viewer to reflect on their relationship with consumption and the environment.