Chun Hua Catherine Dong, Artist – Montreal

Chun Hua Catherine Dong is a Chinese-born, Montreal-based artist working with performance, photography, video, AR, and VR. She received her MFA from Concordia University and her BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. She has exhibited her works in multiple national and international venues. Among many other grants and awards, she received the Franklin Furnace Award for contemporary avant-garde art in New York in 2014 and was listed as one of “10 Artists Who Are Reinventing History” by Canadian Art in 2017. She was also awarded with the Cultural Diversity in Visual Arts Award by the Conseil des arts de Montréal in 2020 and was a finalist for the Contemporary Art Award at Le Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec in 2020. Her performance project I Have Been There is being presented as part of CAFKA.21 in Waterloo until June 27.

  1. VR painting/drawing/sculpting

I used to love making abstract paintings and drawings. However, I stopped doing it after I dedicated myself to performance art. I am very glad that I renewed my passion lately, but in an untraditional way. I make digital drawings and paintings that can be experienced in virtual reality. This work is called Meet Me Halfway. It’s a new VR work I have recently been working on and it will be shown at Patrick Mikhail Gallery in Montreal as part of Gallery Weekend Montreal this weekend.

  1. Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine is a game engine developed by Epic Games. I am fascinated by it. There are so many possibilities for making artworks by using Unreal Engine. I am still learning it. I want to create surrealistic, imaginary scenes that I can live in from time to time when I am tired of reality. Recently I made a 3D “me” and imported “me” into Unreal Engine. A new work about this exploration will come this Winter.

  1. 3D scanning and printing

I like to explore new things, especially in the field of art and technology. I am not interested in making a perfect object by using technology. I’m more interested in how technology “messes up” art and creates something new.

  1. Chinese opera costumes

I love costumes. I recently purchased some Chinese opera costumes online for my next project. The color is so vibrant with all kinds of traditional motifs. I remember we watched Chinese opera when I was younger. I didn’t much like the opera itself, but was more fascinated with the characters’ costumes and their movements on stage.

  1. Hand sewing

I have been making blankets with Chinese traditional fabric for my upcoming solo show this Fall at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. I plan to make one hundred pieces. I find sewing very meditative. When I am frustrated with the digital world, I make blankets and feel calm right away – but I always wish the mistakes I make in reality can be solved with Ctrl + Z  or Command +Z.