Thomas Chung: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know


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A controversial portray of a determine holding President Donald Trump‘s severed head was on show on the University of Alaska Anchorage and has social media and conservatives in an uproar. The portray was created by Professor Thomas Chung, who additionally included a younger Hillary Clinton within the portray. Chung is the top of the UAA portray division.

Though the exhibition that the portray was a part of was solely scheduled to be on show till April 20, it’s nonetheless sparking dialogue on-line.

Right here’s what you'll want to find out about Chung and his controversial work.

1. Chung Says He ‘Spent Days Weeping’ After Trump Gained the 2016 Presidential Election’

Donald Trump severed head, Donald Trump severed head painting, Thomas Chung


The painting was a part of an exhibition created by the UAA school and is on show on the UAA Superb Arts constructing. The portray had been on show for a month, YourAlaskaLink notes.

In an interview with KRTUU, Chung stated the portray exhibits Chris Evans, the actor who performs Captain America, holding the severed head of Trump. There's additionally a younger Hillary Clinton clinging to Evans’ leg.

“I used to be reminded of these 80’s rock posters, the place there’s a lady in tattered garments clinging to a robust male hero’s leg,” Chung advised KRTUU.

Chung stated the primary inspiration for the work was the emotions he had whereas watching election night time protection.

“After Trump was elected, I spent days simply weeping. And it was actually shocking, as a result of I’m not a political individual,” Chung informed KRTUU. “I'm a social artist. I deal principally in beliefs of tradition and international tradition, however this election bled into that.”

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2. Former Professor Paul Berger Thinks There Can be Extra Outrage If Chung Painted Obama’s Severed Head

Paul Berger, a former adjunct professor at UAA, told KTUU that he thinks there “outrage can be implausible” if Chung painted a determine holding President Barack Obama’s severed head.

“As a free speech advocate, everybody has a proper to precise their opinion the best way they need to categorical them,” Berger, who describes himself as a political conservative, informed the station. “However as a mother or father and a citizen, there’s a dialogue. In a college setting, what’s applicable?” Berger additionally stated he discovered the picture “disturbing.”

Chung himself even advised KTUU that he wasn’t positive if the portray ought to be displayed on the college both.

“I used to be actually torn about placing this piece up a school present, as a result of I might by no means speak about my very own political views to my college students,” Chung advised the station. “I might by no means push that upon them and make them really feel uncomfortable, and so I questioned to myself if placing up this portray was in a approach doing that. However I noticed that I really feel very strongly about this, and I feel even college students that could be pro-Trump supporters may benefit from having a dialog with me about why I really feel this manner – why I painted this.”

“I assume the individuals are upset concerning the work that’s being proven,” Steven Godfrey, chairman of the High quality Arts Division at UAA, advised KTUU. “In the event that they have been taking a category on the college and made artwork that was thought-about controversial, it doesn't matter what their political or spiritual bent is, we might do our greatest to guard them and shield their rights to make that type of work within the establishment, whether or not it will be a scholar or school.”

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three. Chung’s Work Sometimes Mixes Pop Tradition With Mythology

The Trump portray may need gained Chung additional consideration, however mixing popular culture with mythological photographs is likely one of the options of his work. Considered one of his different work has Angelina Jolie breastfeeding an Ethiopian child whereas pouring Coca-Cola on its head and in addition breastfeeding a pig. It was a part of his exhibition 1F14: That’s not God.

“It goes again to my curiosity for the sacred and profane,” Chung told the Anchorage Press in February 2017. “I feel Cheetos are probably the most unsacred showing factor, probably the most banal, on a regular basis object. How might there probably be a shred of God or something mystical or religious in a bag of Cheetos? I don’t I do know, I consider there's.”

Chung went to Yale for grad faculty and took a visit to the Amazon basin, which has significantly influenced his work. He constructed his dissertation across the two weeks he spent with the Shipibo tribe in Peru.

“I constructed my entire dissertation based mostly on this expertise,” Chung advised the Anchorage Press. “Had I grown up on this village I might have had a imaginative and prescient of the Star Twins or the Big Serpent that created every little thing, however as a result of I grew up in suburban New Jersey the visage that appeared to me was Angelina Jolie in that film.”

Chung has extra of his work on show at his website.

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four. Most of His Fee My Professor Critiques Are Constructive

Donald Trump severed head, Donald Trump severed head painting, Thomas Chung


A lot of the critiques on Chung’s Rate My Professor profile are constructive, with an general high quality score of four.three. One assessment from 2015 did criticize Chung’s critiques. “Nearly all of your recommendation can be ‘wow, I actually like ____,’ or full silence. Straightforward A in case you do what he likes and don’t thoughts messy critiques,” the reviewer wrote.

The newest evaluation is a destructive one, written on April 20, the final day his Trump portray was on show. “Respectable artist. One other looney leftist, although,” the reviewer wrote. “In case you can ignore his idiotic radical political rants, you'll in all probability benefit from the class. Fairly onerous to disregard, although. There are higher decisions.”

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5. Chung Grew Up in New Jersey & Went to Faculty in Hong Kong

Donald Trump severed head, Donald Trump severed head painting, Thomas Chung


According to Chung’s university bio, he earned his B.F.A. on the San Francisco Artwork Institute in 2010 and an M.F.A. at Yale in 2013. He was born in New Jersey and raised in Hong Kong and New York Metropolis.

A 2015 profile in The Renegade Rip notes that Chung went to center faculty in Hong Kong and his mom was within the promoting enterprise. Earlier than he went to Yale, he went to the woods of Virginia, the place he ate snakes.

“The underlying foundation of my work I consider is, that I’m investigating what makes us human,” Chung advised college students at Bakersfield School in 2015, stories the Renegade Rip. “Good artwork all the time asks extra questions than it solutions.”

In his Anchorage Press interview, Chung in contrast his early success to catching a White Whale. “What do you do whenever you catch it?” he stated.

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