“Many memories of my childhood are connected with trees,” says photographer Irene Kung. “I remember running around trees with friends and hiding for hours on a tree. I still love to sleep in the shade of a tree. Trees calm me down.”
Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art presents “Irene Kung: Trees,” a portfolio of seven large scale photographs of trees, from June 9 through July 1 in the main gallery.
Kung regularly photographs pine and apple trees around her home in Switzerland, but she also travels to Italy, her second home, to photograph all kinds of fruit and olive trees.
“I often spend a few hours looking at a tree from every perspective and only then I choose which aspect of the tree I want to remember,” explains Kung, who does some digital manipulation of images, mostly in the background. “Back at my studio I try to find the feeling I had when I was with the tree. When someone looks at my photograph and perceives the same feeling, it is fulfilling.”
Kung, who started her career as an abstract painter and approaches her photographic image making in a painterly way, has achieved international recognition with exhibitions in New York, London, Milan, Beijing and Moscow.
Her work has appeared in numerous international magazines such as The New York Times Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, Sette del Corriere della Sera and China Daily. She was invited by the agency Contrasto to contribute photographs of fruit trees to an exhibit at EXPO Milan 2015.
“Sometimes, life moves too fast, but when I spend my day looking for trees to photograph, I feel peace,” Kung adds. “I try to communicate peace through my images.”