Judy Cheung’s Mind of a City is a participatory installation that works to counterbalance the sometimes negative psychological effects of urban living. Constructed as a series of skill-enhancement and re-conditioning stations, this exhibition offers a nurturing philosophy geared towards helping the participant retain a sense of self-satisfaction and balance within the often alienating, chaotic confines of contemporary city life.
Mind of a City invites viewers to immerse themselves both physically and conceptually into the systematic series of instructions and workstations. Incorporating aspects of psychological therapy, motivational messages, goal-realization strategies, sense-of-humour rehabilitation, meditation and physical exercise, the components in this exhibition will, by the end, help participants achieve something perhaps bordering on enlightenment.
Cheung’s installation reflects on the urban mindscape in terms of our often dubious cultural drives towards “personal fulfillment” and goal-oriented “progression,” providing a platform to critique, rethink and reinvent oneself, as well as some of our more limiting social constructions and pressing social issues. Similarly, this exhibition presents a critical examination of the view that art, as a form of communication, is meant to elate the senses, offer any sense of real catharsis or enact its promise of social reinvention. As an assimilation of intellectual, social, and functional consciousness, the project references a society fraught with repression, anxiety and stress. Simultaneously, the experiential process of attending an ingenious skill enhancement program provides moments of whimsical inspiration in a gallery setting.
Judy Cheung’s work involves the continuous experimentation and investigation of perceptual reality in the realm of social and urban movements. She received her undergraduate visual arts degree from the University of Calgary and an MFA degree from the Pratt Institute, New York. Cheung’s work has been exhibited across Canada, USA, Europe, as well as in Hong Kong and Singapore. In 2006 her on-going project, Love is in the Air- SkyLink, was shown at the Havana Biennial in Cuba, and her solo exhibition, freeLink, was staged at the Surrey Art Gallery. Cheung currently lives in Vancouver.
The Helen Pitt Gallery greatly acknowledges the support of Lee Valley Hardware and Gailan Ngan Ceramics for the realization of this project.