I am drawn to the beauty of the old and familiar. From Japanese icons to nostalgic Americana, I collect items that are ephemeral. These forgotten objects evoke a sense of yearning for the past and the satisfaction one gets when those experiences are relived. I obsess over these tchotchkes, constantly stopping by garage sales and antique shops in small towns, hunting down flea markets around the world and scouring all over the internet. My collection consists of toys I've played with as a child, objects that I have seen again and again from before my time, and sometimes things I've encountered for the very first time and am consumed by for reasons I cannot fathom. I become so engrossed with these trinkets that I must find out everything I can about their history and then enslave them as subjects in my paintings.
My painting process begins with arranging these lucky cats, kewpie dolls, vintage soda bottles, etcetera, etcetera. Each item takes on a role of its own and I connect deeply to the characters they become. The canvas acts as my stage and enables these characters to act out past experiences or hypothetical ones in their own imaginary world.
I paint these subjects from life in an academic manner to capture the character and beauty as they exist. The objects are rendered meticulously from hours and hours of rigorous focus. The once easily overlooked item - tossed aside as junk - is given the proper attention it deserves. My dedication to nature and working from life will always be the foundation of my work.
Samuel Hung (born in Taiwan, 1981) is a New York based artist currently living in Brooklyn. He earned his BFA in illustration from Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA) and furthered his painting studies at the Grand Central Atelier (New York, NY) focusing on techniques from the 19th century French Academy. His paintings can be found in collections in the United States, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan.
Samuel Hung is an instructor at Grand Central Atelier’s core program. He teaches cast drawing, cast painting, still life painting as well as workshops. For more information on his teaching, please continue to the links below: