John Zerunge Young

John Zerunge Young

Nature is not only fragile, majestic and sublime in the old Kantian sense but, as Paul Virilio would have it, the ocean may well be frightful and monstrous in its answering back – through climate change – to the human-centred progressiveness of modernity’s folly. JOHN ZERUNGE YOUNG

In 2008, Young and his son traversed the Wilhelm Archipelago in Antarctica travelling from Ushuaia, on the tip of South America, down to Petermann Island. At 65 degrees latitude they experienced the immense beauty of the treeless mountains of the Kiev Peninsular. What impressed Young, who was born in densely populated Hong Kong, was the complete absence of human-originated artifacts in this eternal landscape.

Representing the distinct phases of ice, water and atmosphere, Ancient waters both reflects and subverts the conventional harmony of Chinese landscape ink-painting. These monumental fractured and convoluted facades, frozen for millennia, are in tension with Young’s tight, vertical framing.

The Works

Ancient waters I, II, 2018

Colour inks on Museo Silver Rag paper
Courtesy and © the artist and ARC ONE Gallery, Melbourne.

About the Artist

John Zerunge Young was born in Hong Kong and moved to Australia in 1967. Since his first exhibition in 1979, John has had more than sixty solo exhibitions and over 160 group exhibitions around the globe, including Asia, Europe and North America. In 2009, John undertook two projects on transcultural humanitarianism, which were exhibited in Berlin. He was also seminal in establishing in 1995 the Asian Australian Artists’ Association (Gallery 4A), now the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, a centre for the promotion of Asian philanthropy and the nurturing of Australasian artists and curators. His survey exhibition in 2005 was accompanied by a monograph published by Thames and Hudson. 

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