Artist's Statement & Bio
My work is meaningful when it rings like a bell. It shocks like the new, and it bothers like memory, like facing what you forgot you never knew. When something I wish would stay buried is instead laid bare, what rises from the ground is Presence. It is my animating force, both pure spirit and wild beast. When you see it, your eyes touch it, and then it is you who is touched; you see it move, and you feel your body sway. My work is meaningful when it is kinesthetic: a sensation of color leaves a taste in one’s mouth; pictorial rhythms land like body blows.
It feels like a miracle. Before it, I dare to fear. Even if it is too much, I will pay. The picture transcends something that you look at and becomes something you look with. Noises turn to melody; we hold strangers suddenly dear. The image seems lit from within. It like how our lungs fill to say “Aha!” or the way my guts slide when the plane takes off. Even after we leave the ground, the urgency remains. We rise.
My work consists of fragments that are woven together to form a world to be immersed in. What interests me is how this collection of fragments, this Frankenstein, gains a soul, a Presence. He seems to have something to say to us. We want to tell him things. His incongruence, rather than waking me from the dream, gives me hope that he would understand me the way no one else has. Rather than being strange; he is strangely familiar. When I look across, I see he is looking back with my eyes.
What you see is not so much what I see but rather my experience of seeing. The presence of seeing emanates from behind the canvas. I am reaching to what lies behind appearance. The light energy flowing from back to front is the true subject of my work. It is this phenomenon that you the viewer can straddle upon and ride like a horse, from me to you.
When an artwork reaches escape velocity, we awe to the immensity of space; the stars seem absurd — a fear that draws tears of awe. Like when we stand before the Grand Canyon and become saturated by the ocean of air around us; as we feel the sway of the world, our defenses crumble.
When we are called to leap, it is into this immensity. A painting’s illusion shatters illusions. This shattering, this madness truer than real is, as the Joker says, like Gravity: “All it takes is a little push.” The experience of falling (like parting) is such sweet sorrow. After all, what is grief but love looking for somewhere to go?
Albert Fung is a Philadelphia-based artist, art-instructor, and yoga instructor.
He was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He earned his BFA in Printmaking from Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York. In 1996 he earned his MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. He painted and exhibited in New York City from 1993 to 2011. Since 2011, he has been based in Philadelphia.
In addition to making art, he has printed photographs for artists and managed IT.
He taught Lithography at Columbia University from 2005-07. Since 2020, he has been teaching painting and drawing at Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia.
He has been practicing yoga since 2003. He has practiced mainly variations of Vinyasa and Anusara. In 2015 he gained his Certification in Yoga Teaching in 2015 in the Classical tradition from Motherheart Yoga Sangha in Philadelphia. He has taught at Motherheart, The Breathing Room, the Healing Fields, and at Open Space, all in Philadelphia.
Today, he makes and exhibits paintings, drawings, and prints;
teaches yoga and art; performs IT support.