Using “realist sculptural techniques accompanied by surrealist imagination,” self-taught artist Johnson Tsang taps into his subconscious to reinterpret reality. For years, we’ve been drawn to Tsang’s mind-bending body of work, which he has continued to cultivate with a new batch of clay portraits.
Titled Lucid Dream II, Tsang’s most recent series of contemporary sculptures is rendered in his signature, surreal style. Featuring expressive and emotive topsy-turvy faces, his work remains undeniably dreamlike and unsettlingly lifelike. What sets many of these pieces apart from his past work, however, is an increasingly avant-garde approach, evident in everything from his uncharacteristic use of glaze to the presence of mixed media.
Still, even if his sculptures are slightly more experimental, Tsang will never abandon clay, a medium he’s loved since childhood. “I have tried different materials for my sculpture. I did search for any possibility of using other materials, exploring new directions, wishing to create greater work. Then, a question from inside arose: ‘Is that what you really love?’ ” he explained in 2016. “Somehow, my answer was so clear: I love working with clay. There is love and peace in it that interacts with my subconsciousness. What else do I need?”
To see how Tsang’s relationship with clay has molded his practice, stop by his website.