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Meet Chung-Ping Cheng

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chung-Ping Cheng.

Chung-Ping , can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a fine art photographer who travels between Los Angeles and Taiwan. I studied History at the National Taiwan University, but I always loved art. When I moved to the United States with my children in 2000, I took many art classes at the city college including drawing, painting, two- and three-dimensional art, art history, photography and music. Among those classes, I liked photography the most, so I took all the photography classes I could. In the meantime, I also took private Chinese painting classes. My Chinese painting teacher was from a famous artist family in China. I learned a lot from him. He always praised my Chinese painting with a literati temperament. It’s a very high criteria when judging Chinese painting. But I still liked using the camera to create the work.

Now we are in the digital era and with the digital camera, you can take thousands of pictures stored virtually. The images appeared in your eyes when you took it immediately, It’s fast and economic.

I am more old school though. I like to use film to do my work. I choose to use color film, a medium format camera and enlarge my large-scale images myself in the darkroom, which enables me to create the color and to experiment. One of my teachers told me, “what you saw was not what you got on the film. It’s a mystery. It takes days or weeks, if you shoot the images in another country, to know what you have on a segment. It takes patience. If the images are not what you expected, then do it again. It needs passion.” I relish the mysteries of the developing photograph while embracing and using elements of chance that may appear.

I had my first solo exhibition in Taiwan in 2011. From that time until now, I had several solo and group exhibitions both in Taiwan and Los Angeles. Most of my work focuses on flowers; The peony and lotus. Those flowers are iconic symbols in Chinese culture. They represent realism and metaphor in my work.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t like to think about Obstacles and Challenges. It’s so hard to be an artist.

Photography has many categories to explore: commercial, portrait, street, still life, documentary, landscape, fine art… I like fine art photography, so I create when I am inspired. Searching for opportunities to show my work is a challenge. The art field is very mysterious, what you like, the gallery may not like. At first, rejection is very common when applying for a show. It makes you doubt and lose confidence in yourself. Another challenge is that Los Angeles has a big art market, which means it’s competitive for artists. But I express my inner self through photography, all my trials and tribulations, the cycle of emotions and experiences that I have as an outsider. My passion for my work continues to carry me through all challenges and obstacles

Please tell us about Chung-Ping Cheng Photography.
I am a fine art photographer. I do art project for exhibition. I use film to do my work, not many photographer using film now.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I do large prints when I start to show my work,it needs large frame to show in the exhibition, and it needs more space to store. If I had to start over, I might do more small work in the beginning, it’s easy to organize.

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