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Born in Kowloon, Hong Kong, Billy Cheung grew up with a fascination for different colours and sounds of fast paced 80’s street markets. The colourful reflections the bright lights cast on shop items and street signs, spotlighted their various forms. Billy gained interest in objects’ subtlety in uniqueness through their different shapes, as well as how they were created. His PoPo (Grandma) was a significant figure in his creative development and identity. She encouraged him to follow his intrigue and be playful through drawing and making crafts at a young age.
Billy Cheung, 你呢個無膽鬼, 2022, Clay, underglaze and glaze, 20.3 x 16.5 x 17.8 cm
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Cheung and his family later immigrated to Toronto, Canada. Keeping the spirit of his PoPo alive, he found it important to integrate her values in his work as a teenager. Cheung soon moved to Vancouver, Canada to become involved in the print industry, specifically Lithograph printing. He developed an eye for design and detail, which translated in his passion for painting and street art. Always curious, Cheung picked up a colour theory class at Shadbolt Centre For The Arts, where he would walk by the ceramics department, with curiousity, he took a class in ceramics and discovered clay as a meduim. A few years later, he completed his first residency there for ceramics. He now has his own studio in East Vancouver, where he continues his practice.
Cheung’s work draws inspiration through imperfect curves in various forms, and movement within the context of the human figure. Exploring the balance of raw organic clay and glaze, he combines textures and patterns to develop a playfulness and individualism within each piece. Through a combination of throwing, hand building, extruding and mixing different clay bodies, Cheung brings his curiosity and personal life teachings to a longstanding and traditional craft.
Billy Cheung, Typhoon Views, 2022, Clay, underglaze and glaze, 25.4 x 14 x 14 cm
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