We had the good fortune of connecting with Chung-Ping Cheng and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chung-Ping, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born in Taiwan and studied History at National Taiwan University. I always loved art, so when I moved to Los Angeles, I took art classes at the City College. I was excited to take many drawing, painting, photography and art history classes. I found I liked photography the most and used the camera as my creative outlet.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a fine art photographer. Now is the digital era where shooting pictures is very easy with digital camera or smartphone. But I am more old school using a medium format camera, shooting with film and enlarge my work in the darkroom. The process is mysterious and uncertain until the picture is printed from the color paper processor or from chemicals for the black and white prints. During the waiting, there is a lot of guessing and doubting. When the image starts to appear slowly it can be surprising or disappointing. The process needs passion, patience and persistence to make it as a career. My recent projects are “Refining Fire/ Undescribed Variations” and “The Last Episode/ HangZhou Taipei Los Angeles.” These present part of the cycle of life. I shot these projects in three locations, HangZhou in China, Taipei in Taiwan, and Los Angeles in the USA, and also during different seasons. When I flew to China and Taiwan half of my luggage was films and equipment. It is challenging to be an artist. I learned to consider challenge as a chance to build up confidence so I can keep creating my work, and showing my unique vision of the world.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I visit museums and galleries often and sometimes listen to music at the music center, so I would like to introduce my friends to these places. Los Angeles County Museum of Art has diverse exhibitions from European, American, Egyptian, Japanese and Korean culture. They also present special exhibitions such as Photography and film. A Chinese Painting, “Where the Truth Lies: The Art of Qiu Ying” was recently exhibited. The famous Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara is showing now. The Getty is near UCLA on the hill, there is a tram from parking lot to physical museum at the top. When the tram is climbing up, the 405 freeway is underneath. The Getty is well known not only for its collections, but also its architecture, garden and the view over looking Los Angeles. I like their photography exhibitions. In every one I have learned part of the history of photography. Los Angeles is a city for arts. There are many galleries throughout downtown LA, Culver City, Santa Monica and Venice Beach. I would like to spend a half day in each area. The Music Center on Grand Avenue has a richness during the night. The opera in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and classical music in the Walt Disney Concert Hall keeps bringing me back to listen for many years. Surely, it’s a program for friends to visit. Some restaurants for lunch or dinner include Bestia in DTLA, Republique on La Brea, Osteria Mozza on Melrose, Chinese food in Temple City or even Shake Shack or In-N-Out Burger. Chinese say, A visit by a friend from afar is truly a delight. It is such a pleasure to have friends visiting these special places together.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to send my thanks to Peter Mays, the Director of Los Angeles Art association, his enthusiasm for the art, encouragement and support for the artists,help us to go forward in our careers.