Dark Fantasy

SYDNEY. 4 – 6 OCT 2019.

Artists: Gerald Leung and Louise Zhang

Dark Fantasy plays with the narrative tropes, visual aesthetics and ideologies explored within the umbrella genre of fantasy as a method of navigating the potential crisis of identity. The works of Gerald Leung and Louise Zhang are uneasily fantastical, simultaneously drawing upon cyberpunk and body horror and personal experiences to construct imaginary scenes of unhinged otherness.

These fractured glimpses of otherworldly scenes, populated by Taoist demons, anatomical organs, health-goth angels and cyberpunk samurai, reflect the imagined realities Leung and Zhang have created as attempts at interpreting themselves. This exhibition asserts the artists’ personal narratives through their idiosyncratic methodologies, aesthetics and artistic production.

Artist bios:

Gerald Leung (born Hong Kong, lives and works in Sydney, Australia) is an illustrator and artist. He is best known for his character driven illustration series, Brutal Brackmetal, where he tirelessly creates/ recruits members for his ever expanding fictional gang.

Born in Hong Kong but raised in Australia, Leung grew up with a steady diet of comic books, video games and cartoons from both the east and the west. Through these influences he became fascinated by the concept of man-made universes. Imagined worlds not bound by reality or physics, no rules and infinite possibilities. Places that could be so vast and complex but yet only existing in the creator’s mind. Through traditional illustration methods and his love of ink & graphite, Leung aims to share with the audience an insight to his inner universe.

Gerald has exhibited consistently since 2011 with selected exhibitions including Within the Garden of Earthly Delights (2019), Outre Gallery, Melbourne; SFW (2016), Kong Art Space, Hong Kong; and Arcadia (2015), aMBUSH Gallery, Sydney.

Louise Zhang (born 1991, Sydney, Australia) is a Chinese-Australian artist, whose multidisciplinary practice spans painting, sculpture and installation. Her work negates the space between the attractive and repulsive. With an interest in horror cinema, particularly body horror, Zhang investigates the idea of the visceral as medium, method and symbol in negotiating horror as art form.

Louise Zhang completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours (First Class) at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in 2013, before recently completing a Masters of Fine Arts by research at UNSW Art + Design in 2016. Since 2012, Zhang has been invited to exhibit as part of curated exhibitions including: Closing the Distance (2017), Bundoora Homestead Art Centre; Ereignis (2016), Cessnock Regional Gallery, Cessnock; From Old Ground (2015), Bathurst Regional Art Gallery; Work, rest, PLAY! (2015), Hawkesbury Regional Gallery; Right Here, Right Now (2015), Penrith Regional Art Gallery; Biggie Smalls (2015), Casula Powerhouse and Chinese Whispers (2014), Goulburn Regional Art Gallery. Zhang has also collaborated on projects with institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (who invited her to curate MCA Art Bar in January 2017) and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (who commissioned Louise to create a work as part of the 2017 Lunar New Year festival program).

Exhibition Documentation

All images by Garry Trinh.

A white gallery space - on the left wall are eight drawings framed in black, hung under a mural composed of black lines resembling tree branches or veins. On the right is a five-panel plywood sculpture connected by metal hinges, painted black with neon and pastel clouds and flames
Dark Fantasy exhibition view, 2019, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

A close-up of the sculpture, cut to resemble black flame. The panels are painted with neon and pastel wisps of smoke and cloud against the black flame
Louise Zhang, Inferno (maquette), 2016, plywood, acrylic paint, oil paint, Perspex, resin, glitter, plastic and metal hinges. Courtesy the artist and Artereal Gallery, Sydney.
Eight framed black ink drawings on a white gallery wall. Above these drawings is a mural composed of black lines resembling tree branches or veins, stretching from a spine outwards.
Gerald Leung, Brack Metal (Series), 2014 – , ink and pen on paper, custom mural. Courtesy the artist.
A painting with a peach-coloured background and pastel green, teal and deep blue clouds painted over, hung on a white gallery wall next to a glass window. A girl with long black hair walks past the glass window.
Louise Zhang, The Pure Land, 2018, oil and acrylic on canvas. Courtesy the artist and Artereal Gallery, Sydney.