Spotlight: Johnson Tsang

What if you could make your dreams come true? Hong Kong based artist Johnson Tsang did just that with Lucid Dream, a series of porcelain sculptures inspired by his dreams and meditations. Whimsical and Surrealist, his art explores the subconscious and reminds us that our faces are nothing but masks that can be stretched and altered, even commodified, like in his Soul Shopping art piece. Our human exterior is thus nothing but a frail shield, that can be easily smashed or put to a different use.

 

 

Tsang is a self-taught artist who works primarily with ceramics. Having served for 13 years as a police officer before taking on art full-time, he has seen some gruesome scenes of violence and disfiguration, which have impacted his view on life and have contributed to his unique art vision. In a 2016 interview, the artist said:

I’ve seen a lot of cases that needed police assistance or enforcement. Most of the time those cases showed the dark side of the city and humanity. What affected me the most were the fatal cases. I saw people being stabbed and killed by gangsters, a 6-year-old girl who was murdered by her maid, an 11-year-old girl who watched her younger brother die under a big tire of a double-decker bus while she was helping her mother to take care of him, and lots of faces of people who lost their lives in fatal car accidents. Today, I would definitely say that my service plays an important role in my creation. At least, I see things differently.

Highly imaginative and provocative, Tsang’s sculptures are masterpieces in capturing the human expression at its finest and offer a gateway to a limitless world, a fluid and ever-changing universe where anything is possible if you just keep an Open Mind.

 

Johnson Tsang - Open Mind I
Johnson Tsang – Open Mind I

Tsang is currently working on a second Lucid Dream series. You can stay up to date and follow him here:

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9 thoughts on “Spotlight: Johnson Tsang

  1. I think I like the kissing one the best, and the one with the woman’s upper body lying over the face. I went to his site and from the ones I’ve seen his style works best for this kind of intimacy between people. Some of the stuff is a little cheesy, and I don’t really see any works addressing the hard realities of his police work, that I noticed. Amazing technique, though I’m not sure yet that I’m convinced by the emotion/feeling. I now follow him, so, I’ll have more chance to probe a bit deeper. Thanks for introducing us to this artist.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The kiss is quite brilliant, he achieved a great blurring effect there. It almost looks Photoshopped. I think the experience as a police officer comes through in the way he treats these faces like simple masks, having no problem with stretching or contracting them, even blowing their tops off. I would imagine he’s seen a lot of disfigured heads, so that may have influenced him in a subtle way.

      He is more active on Instagram, where he’s … well, turned more political. I know you hate that!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I used to be more political myself. The last election cycle in the U.S. took it out of me. I suppose being anti-political is kinda’ political, though. The difference is I used to be one of those people who did a lot of political posts on Facebook. Now it’s almost all art, and the occasional complaint about politics.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Now that’s ironic. 2016 was such a low year in world politics that it made me more political than ever… Two years later and I simply feel fatigued, I cannot bother to follow the news as much. I appreciate people that speak up though, good for them that they still have the energy to do so.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yeah, fatigued … me too. But I also became disillusioned. Now everyone who is spouting politics seems as if they belong to some narrow ideology that only sees one side of the picture. So, for example, recently lots of people have been posting anti-gun or pro-gun material on FB. My reaction to either and both is “whatever”.

            Fighting the enemy requires believing there’s an enemy. Being right requires someone else is wrong.

            Nowadays I mostly defend art against politics.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Fascinating. It’s interesting that his experiences as police officer informs his work. They are a curious mixture of smooth and beautiful combined with distorted and disturbing. Excellent work. I like Open Mind I best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think part of the beauty also comes from the fact that the faces are so imperturbable and inanimate, in spite of their distortions. I found them fascinating to look at too, though it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why.

      Liked by 1 person

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