Amy Cheng was born in Taiwan, raised in Brazil, Oklahoma and Texas. She received a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA from Hunter College, City University of New York. She has completed a number of public art commissions including a mosaic column at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, a painted ceramic mural at the Howard St. El Station in Chicago, IL, a faceted glass windscreens at the Cleveland Street Subway Station in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently working on a set of four laminated glass windows for the 25th Avenue Subway Station in Brooklyn, NY, and tow murals for Metro-St. Louis located at the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport MetroLink Station. She has exhibited her paintings both nationally and internationally. In 2008 she received a Senior Lecture/Research Fulbright fellowship to Brazil. She has been awarded two New York Foundation for the Arts Painting Fellowships, and an Arts International travel grant to China. She is a Professor in the Art Department at the State University of New York at New Paltz.
I paint abstract, decorative, mandala-like paintings that metaphorically emulate the energy of life force. I create bulging, volumetric spheres woven within a decorated, layered realm of shimmering light and saturated color. When I contemplate the energy of life force I think of cells and cell divisions, the universe forming itself out of dust, seeds blooming into plants, all which tend to emerge jewel-like, diaphanous, seductive and playful.
Nature constantly strives to seduce in order to propagate itself. Patterning and repetition is endemic in natural forms. I used to speculate that my love of pattern and design found its roots in my Asian sensibility. Now I believe that on a very basic level, the human, and possibly all living organisms nervous systems respond organically to pattern-making. I draw my designs from a variety of traditional sources, both Eastern and Western. I am interested in blending formal concerns of pattern and design while referencing broadly a variety of things brocades, lace, jewelry, botany, cells, organs, the cosmos. I am interested in having the viewer contemplate tensions micro vs. macro, natural vs. man-made, outward vs. inward, force vs. resistance, and what wants to exist vs. that which wants to control existence.