Silia Ka Tung's Mythical World at Mandy Zhang Art Gallery

Silia Ka Tung, Sunny side up (yellow bird) (2024), Courtesy the artist and Mandy Zhang Art.

London-based artist Silia Ka Tung, known for using her artistic skills to create deep, complex stories filled with boundless imagination, makes her way to Mandy Zhang Art’s new Marylebone gallery space, the second exhibition since opening its physical space. Using the basis of a story she created derived from a popular Chinese folktale, titled “Green Rock and the Magic Mountain” and inspired by a Classical Chinese folktale written by the legendary writer Pu Songling, her work focuses on individual pieces of art acting as a medium to a completely different world. Focusing on transcendentalism, Silia's sculptural installations and works on paper of mythological entities as subjects could easily make viewers get lost in her vivid, yet complex reality. “I have always found myself irresistibly drawn to the recreation of these seemingly invisible things, the physicalization of this invisible world,” she tells art currently.

Growing up in Hong Kong, Tung has been heavily influenced by Chinese culture from individual mythologies to religion such as Taoism and Buddhism, as well as fantasy Chinese media. This spurred her interest in the curiosity of the unknown and her influences from manga and video games helped her incorporate. Various themes and cultures showcase the importance of interconnectivity, as well as the existence of wide ranging possibilities in different realms. Her interest in transcendentalism comes from her childhood which gives her the importance of reverence for nature, the cosmos and the spirituality of existence. She continues to tell us “Being the daughter of a Traditional Chinese medical doctor, my childhood was filled with insights into holistic healing, from herbal medicine to acupuncture, from Yin & Yang to balancing your Qi. This traces all the way to I Ching (易經) with reverence for the cosmos, nature and belief in the spirituality of all things. I have always found myself irresistibly drawn to the recreation of these seemingly invisible things, the physicalization of this invisible world.”

The poem she wrote for the exhibition shows her ability to draw out the beauty of the most simple objects. Her description of The Realm of Green Hills world presents the viewer with the very embodiment of her identity with her aim to bring feminist perspective to traditional narratives via the themes of ancient myths and storytelling through sculpture and painting. The exhibition is on view from June 5th to July 17, 2024.

The Mandy Zhang Art gallery was founded in 2022 by Mandy Jieyi Zhang representing the Asian Diaspora. This gallery intends to bridge the gap between the East and the West by offering the Works of artists who have cross cultural origins heavily rooted in Asian culture. This will allow the artists to display and popularize the Asian influences of their work to a wide ranging audience consistent with the modern standards.

Mandy tells us "I’m really looking forward to showcasing Silia Ka Tung’s works with the gallery this June for the first time. Tung explores themes of ancient myths and storytelling through paintings and sculpture by bringing a feminist perspective to traditional narratives. Mandy Zhang Art focuses on working with artists who have cross-cultural backgrounds but are deeply rooted in Asian culture. The dual exposure allows the artists to express their Asian influences in a way that is more relevant to the global audience."

Silia Ka Tung, Lotus Tears (2024)/Silia Ka Tung, String of Teardrops (2024), Courtesy the artist and Mandy Zhang Art.