La Strada • Jonathan Ching

Jan 13 to Feb 9, 2017 • Upstairs Gallery

Jonathan Ching’s latest solo exhibition of new works in painting revolves around the wanderer’s sensate encounter with the street: an exploration of place, inhabited by things, and a revisiting of ways to look at the ubiquitous presences of the everyday.

Five paintings attest to Ching’s affinity for delving into such states of wonder, all starting out as images, shot on his mobile phone while cycling around his neighborhood. Tarpaulins covering surplus machines and roadside blooms, both seasonal and transient in appearance, loom large and fascinating through the artist’s eyes. Ching’s translation of these daily sights and digital images into paintings teases out both volumes and textures otherwise obscured and changes the most ordinary instances of seeing into puzzles or mysteries to be uncovered. This is evident in how Ching titles his individual works: the street and its objects are transformed into indeterminate landscapes, transient yet unchanging like the sea. In the end, what renders Ching’s aesthetic wanderings special is how he manages to uncover other worlds, settled quietly within ours.

—Lisa Ito