possible magic

In my most recent exhibition, possible magic, I set out to examine how we navigate our trajectory within the Anthropocene's precarious states. Primarily using painting as a means to survey the condition of the planet, I utilized an array of research interests that touch upon issues such as eco-anxiety, climate change, the history of landscape imagery, and interconnected systems also known as hyperobjects.

Intentionally working with oil paint, these slow moving, layered surfaces are a resistance to the slickness, speed, and expectations of the digital world or media we encounter daily. Each painting is executed with deliberate attention to surface, saturated color palettes, paint application, variety of linen textures, and the use of absorbent or reflective grounds.

The sources of these paintings are created primarily from my own photo archives with a nod to manipulated, high definition images that reflect our desire to intensify every moment. The work shifts across images of the high Arctic, forests, moons, oceans, and outer space—which not only track my direct engagement with sites, but also a carbon footprint. I employ a dynamic color palette that alludes to beauty and destruction in the contemporary landscape while ranging from immersive to intimate in scale. As these choices align or point to sentimental expectations placed on the genre of landscape painting—they also lean into the aesthetics of kitsch and may push viewers to question what is really happening in the outside world around me?

Using natural markers of time such as the cycle of the moon, dusk, and dawn, I wonder—how do we plot a course across this unstable, sublime, quickly evolving climate crisis? Is it a hyperobject of our own making? In these contemporary landscapes, full of inequality but also enchantment, we catch glimpses of eco-anxiety, hope, perseverance, and possible magic. With each encounter we must ask ourselves: what lies over the seen, and unseen horizon?

Adam Fung is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth. He received his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree from University of Notre Dame and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree from Western Washington University. Fung also attended Virginia Commonwealth University for Art Foundations. Fung works primarily as a painter and has a dynamic range of research interests that touch upon issues such as climate change, landscape, patterns and the make-up of the universe. Fung’s work often arises from direct experience and primary sources. Recent examples of this practice include the 2016 (and a return trip in 2023) Arctic Circle Artist Residency and Expedition around the archipelago of Svalbard, an Artist Residency in Iceland, and road trips around west Texas and New Mexico that allowed the artist to visit sites of interest including Observatories, Dark Sky Parks, Marfa, and Spaceport America. His paintings can be found in the art collections at Microsoft, Mercedes Benz Financial Services, Texas Christian University, South Bend Museum of Art, and the US Department of Energy’s Fermilab, as well as numerous private collections. Fung’s latest body of work, titled possible magic, explores eco-anxiety, the climate crisis and hyperobjects, and was recently on view in Fort Worth at Cufflink Art Gallery.