David Chung is an artist who spent most of his childhood in Hong Kong and Taiwan and later in upstate New York. Now residing in Los Angeles, David creates comical and thoughtful paintings often touching on his everyday life in the sunny city of angels. His paintings often exhibit characters in humorous situations and with a child-like cynicism. The momentarily seriousness of his characters are soon broken by their light-hearted composure and design. When asked about his work and life, this is what David had to say:
You and your wife are both artists with very different styles of painting. I am sure you are both fans of each other’s work. How does “everyday living” with your artist wife influence your content and is there any current piece that documents this? Even though mine and Desiree’s work differs from each other stylistically, we’re constantly critiquing each other’s pieces (even when it’s not welcome). It’s actually quite beneficial to have someone you trust give their honest opinion in how you can suck less. But on top of that, we pretty much talk about everything together. Even when we’re talking about random shit (like trying to figuring out how you can turn every work day into a friday and still have weekends) we’re able to use each other as a sounding board to help realize our own thoughts. And because our work is very personal and semi autobiographical, those talks often get turned into paintings. And by the way, we figured it out. Make every third day a Friday. And although when you return to work after the weekend, the first half of the day might feel like a Monday, once you get back from lunch…boom…it’s mother-fudging Friday! We got it all worked out. We’re gonna see if Far Side will start making calendars based off of our new week system.
Your animation resume is impressive. I read that you were working on a side project a couple of years ago in hopes that it would be made into an animated show. How did that come along and are you planning to get any of your current characters animated? Well, I’ve been trying to work on few animated shows since then. Two of the pitches were optioned by Cartoon Network. One of them was my own in 2012, and another one, me and Attaboy worked on in 2014. Unfortunately nothing more than some pretty looking storyboards came out of it as the properties were dropped as fast as they were bought. Even though it was disappointing, it was still a blast to work on, and I definitely learned a lot from it. But if you know me, you’ll also know that I’m a stubborn idiot who doesn’t give up easily. If anything, the least I could do is turn them into online comics where the only restrictions I’d have are my own. And starting this Friday, I’m putting a restriction on pants! NO PANTS FRIDAY!!! WOOOOOH!!! Check your Far Side Calendar.
I am guessing that having lived your childhood in Hong Kong and Taiwan and later living in upstate New York influences your work visually. Is this something you are consciously aware of when developing pieces or do you feel that its something that translates subconsciously? Living in Hong Kong and Taiwan for sure has influenced my work visually. For the most part I was raised off of ridiculously loud snack packages. Every thing had a cute cartoon mascot on it, even if it were to sell cockroach traps, which kind of looked the same as Koala’s March cookie packages. There was just something so obnoxious yet appealing about asian marketing that I loved. A trait that I have definitely tried working into my own pieces. For me, having my childhood overseas were the good times. However, when I moved to the states in my teens, that was when I was just about to blossom into my amazing awkward years. And being an awkward one of maybe 2 asian kids in a predominantly white suburban town…well, it kind of helped me define my voice. So here we are today, I make work revolving around obnoxiously colorful and cute characters living in a perpetually awkward world.
David has exhibited in galleries such as Flower Pepper in Pasadena and WWA Gallery in Culver City and has been interviewed for the website of Juxtapoz, the popular contemporary art publication. David has worked on animated television series such as Futurama, Robot and Monster, and Sanjay and Craig. If you would like to see more of David’s work, visit his website gallery.