Live portrait drawing with Chin-Cheng Hung
March 28, 2019
Chin-Cheng Hung, an artist from Atlanta who focuses on pastels paintings, held an art exhibition in the Theatre Arts building on March 28.
His exhibit “Drawing from Life” consisted of a live portrait presentation in which his model Mark Aubrey worked alongside Hung, bringing the pastel painting to life. While focusing on the features of Aubrey’s face for the portrait, Hung held an open discussion with the audience, answering questions, concerns and even cracking jokes.
He opened by giving the audience insight into his life, in where he discussed that his wife was once a pharmacist, or had a “plain, boring job” as he stated, but he inspired her to follow her true passion of fashion design. Hung encouraged his wife to go back to school and get her Masters in Fashion, which she did complete, and now he joked of never having to buy clothes again. He even promoted her coat on stage.
Hung’s son was also present at the exhibition, leading Hung to tell the story of how after a day of long, hard hours working on a painting, his son ran into the room while nobody was supervising and completely destroyed his work by grabbing a crayon to draw zig-zags on his final piece. “Biggest spanking of his life”, Hung joked.
Later, Hung explained that one of the most difficult parts of being an artist is trying to find materials at an affordable price. Most college students do not have the means to purchase $170 worth of pastels. It is hard surviving off ramen noodles as it is, which was why Hung decided to work with cheaper materials.
“You don’t need expensive pastels to make a good piece of artwork,” said Hung. “Cheap pastel can work, too. You, as an artist, just have to make it work.”
With that, he moved on to explain what his thought process was while speaking and painting at the same time. He jokingly said, “Nothing. It’s just blank.” Hung further explained that he liked to listen to classical music when he is painting alone and even tries to sing along to opera. Usually, because his paintings are taken from real life models, Hung said he simply enjoys having a conversation with them because it allows him to get to know the model on a different scale, helping give his painting some character.
Lastly, when asked for advice for any future artists and what Hung believed to be important in the art world, he said, “Well, confidence is important. You need to believe you are the best to be the best. You need to pretend your confidence, and it will come. Be James Bond!”
“It was certainly very cool,” said nursing student Patrick Boland on his experience and take on the exhibit. “He seems like a very funny guy. … I think the whole thing was just cool to watch. At first I thought he was just drawing lines, but it was amazing to see it all come to together in the end.”
To say that Chin-Cheng Hung is talented would be an understatement. His personality and ability to make the room feel welcoming is all part of his genuine character.