October 20 ,2018 - November 10, 2018
CCACC Art Gallery held a Solo Exhibition, "The Sculpture Arts of Foon Sham" featuring more than 30 works by Sham's sculptures and paintings. Foon Sham held a seminar where he talked about the production process of Foon Sham Sculpture Arts.
Foon Sham Sculpture - The Process of Making
Foon Sham: An Artist Working to Reach the Peak
Written by Dr. Kit-Keung Kan
In a small exhibition in Alexandria Old Town, Virginia in 1981, it was the first time when I saw the sculptures of Foon Sham. The main body of this "Strange Things in the Forest" is a tree trunk painted in red and black. Close to it is a wooden strip carved into the shape of a crane. It seems that there is a waterfowl resting. It also seems that the bird can't help but gasp in the destroyed environment. It is so simple, but the impression given to me is very profound. After a few days, I went to a frame company to frame my paintings. The staff member saw me as a Chinese and introduced his Chinese colleagues to me. He is the young artist, Mr. Sham. Since then, we have become good friends.
In 1984, Foon Sham exhibited a nearly fifty-foot-tall wooden sculpture in Founders Park, Alexandria Old Town, Virginia. This "Spinal Cord III" is made by bending a plurality of eight-hour wide wooden strips into a curved shape. And it is painted red, rising from the ground, rising like a red ribbon floating in the green park. Give people a light and smooth, clear and flying pleasure.
At that time, Foon Sham worked very hard. In addition to working in the frame shop during the day, he taught art at part time in two universities at night. In the mean time, he continued to participate in exhibitions and launch new works. By 1988, he was hired by the University of Maryland to become a full-time professor. With a stable job, he is more dedicated to creating arts and constantly holding new exhibitions. The style of the work ranges from polished wooden columns to slab-shaped wood carvings with a sacral texture, from the structure of the cross-section of the book to the device that grows the grass seedlings and piles of sawdust, pushing the artistic language to new areas. In addition to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other large cities within United States, he is also a resident artist in Norway, France, Australia, Chile, Bolivia and China. Every time he integrate into the local environment and materials to create new sculptures, he reach to a new peak.
In 2015, he was invited by Rain Garden by Golden Triangle Business Improvement District, Washington DC, to create sculptures at the intersection of the 19th and L Streets in the Northwest. He used thousands of rectangular blocks to form four dozen-high, bottle-shaped sculptures placed in four corners of the intersection. Forming from simple to complex, from symmetrical to irregular organic forms, echoing each other to form a visual variation. This group of sculptures is widely loved by the public. After the completion of the exhibition one year later, it should have been taken over by another artist, but the organizer could no longer find a high-level plan like Foon Sham. This group of sculptures was purchased and permanently established in the Golden Triangle. This group of sculptures is a veritable masterpiece of the future.
Last year, in 2017, he held a solo exhibition at the Katzen Art Museum, American University. The work titled "Escape" in the exhibition is the most eye-catching one. This more than sixty-eight-story giant sculptures, which is more than fourteen feet high. It is arranged in a straight line across the vast array of spotlights embedded in the ground. It looks like a mountain at a distance and it is insurmountable. Foon Sham specifically used the border between the United States and Mexico as an image of the undulating ridges, symbolizing that this artificial boundary has led to many painful experiences of the two peoples. Inside the sculpture, it is a gallery, like a tunnel that escapes. But because of the lighting of the underground lights and the structure of the curved strips, this gallery is like a solemn church. The sculpture was well received by a curator at the Smithsonian Museum and was booked in the National Museum of American History in 2019. This is another peak in Foon Sham's creation.