Phang Gung Fook was born in London to parents who migrated from the West Indies. Her heritage and upbringing influence her work. Being of mixed heritage her family didn’t fit in with any particular community, immigrant families often felt like outsiders. Consequently, they were a very close family, private and low key. As a result of her upbringing family has always been important. Consciously and subconsciously memories from childhood have influenced her practice. Family first and solitude still resonate. Memories and family are an endless source of inspiration for her work. Phang Gung Fook’s work is very personal it is about her observations, events that have happened, the effects and consequences of her decisions. A recent bereavement, marriage, divorce, demanding relationships, bullying and intimidation and the lasting effects are themes that appear in her work. Phang Gung Fook’s desire for privacy has led her to use humour and ambiguity to tackle stories that are sometimes difficult and painful to paint. She has always used satire, love and positivity to help cope with difficult situations. This is the essence of her practice, her work reflects this spirit. Her practise is underpinned by the narrative of love and loss. Her paintings are often cryptic and the story is not always obvious to the viewer. Phang Gung Fook’s work is cathartic. It is both a release and a relief for her emotionally. She often uses dogs as a metaphor for people and her emotions, helping to create a cryptic narrative. Although subjects are sometimes deep and personal, the underlying message is the everyday story and experiences we can all relate to. The brilliant, vivid colours in her work is a mask for her to hide her emotions. Phang Gung Fook’s work is sometimes a complex situation portrayed in a naïve cheerful style. The dripping paint adds to the sense of immediacy, disorder, chaos and sadness. It all adds to the drama and raw emotions of her work.
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