Chelsea Ryoko Wong: Gravitational Pull
March 11-April 23, 2022
Jessica Silverman is pleased to announce Chelsea Ryoko Wong’s “Gravitational Pull,” on view from March 11 to April 23, 2022. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and presents a series of new paintings: vibrant figurative compositions that reflect the diversity and style of her home in San Francisco. Her scenic vignettes demonstrate sociality and joy as forms of resistance and empowerment.
Wong’s brightly colored and heavily stylized paintings beam with the beauty and vitality of interpersonal connections. Like a sequence of dreams, they depict figures swimming among fish in turquoise water, napping on hot rocks, watching the sunset, and feasting on dungeness crab. Like in Musseling on a Foggy Day (2022), the natural landscape figures heavily in her works. She draws inspiration from California landscapes like the Yuba River, Sea Ranch and the Joshua Tree National Park. As a backdrop, delighting in nature works to fortify the central theme of the exhibition—the gravitational pull, or invisible force, that grounds us on Earth.
While contemplative and serene, the works in “Gravitational Pull” portray energetic crowds, often praising sisterhood and community spirit. In works such as A Modern Feast (2022), the subjects are playful, strong and self-possessed, representing a collective of identities that defy political turbulence. Moving through the artist’s own memory, heritage and a grand social and political vision for the world, Wong’s layered compositions use a commanding sense of color and form to celebrate the most tranquil ideals of communal existence.
Chelsea Ryoko Wong is a painter and muralist. Her work is known for celebrating racial and cultural diversity, promoting working class communities and evoking a sense of curiosity and wonder. Wong began her studies at Parsons School of Design (New York, NY), and finished at California College of the Arts (Oakland, CA) with a BFA in Printmaking in 2010. She is the first recipient of the Hamaguchi Emerging Artists Fellowship award at Kala (Berkeley, CA, 2010) and has recently completed murals for Asana (San Francisco, 2021), La Cocina (San Francisco, 2021) and the FB AIR Program (San Francisco, 2019). She has exhibited across the United States, Europe and Asia. In February 2022 she was announced as a finalist for the SFMOMA 2022 SECA Art Award.