“Art for me is a process of deep communication that has few parallels in the creative world. It permits and encourages an exchange of ideas at a faster rate and with more accessibility and subtle nuances than conventional methods of communication. I think of art as humanity’s second language, a universal tongue that has infinite dialects, meanings, and ideas that can be transmitted if the artist so desires. My work has sought to give expression to my human visual intuition that operates at levels inhospitable to verbal or literary expression. Each work can function independently but is connected to the larger body of art that seeks to give my perspective on the story of our humanity and our rapidly disintegrating connection to the natural world. That perspective ranges from aesthetic beauty for its own sake to the personal, political, environmental, and numerous other concerns that could be said to constitute my artistic vision.
My work is primarily grounded in photography and the photographic image but has also explored multimedia/mixed media and installation art. The still-life photographs in both black & white and color are explorations of the relationship of objects of differing significance, symbolism, ritual and spiritual functions. Some of these objects are organic and consist of parts of plants, animals, and old family photographs, and sundry objects of sometimes indeterminate significance. Important themes running through some of my still life photographs are family history and the search for an understanding of ethnic hybridity and multicultural identity. These still life assemblages are somewhat resonant of the shamanic and mystical practices once prevalent among all human cultures.”
Chong was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and emigrated to the USA at age 18. He discovered photography in high school in Jamaica and since that time it has become his primary medium of artistic expression. It has opened doors and given Chong opportunities undreamt when he first seriously picked up a camera. Chong presently lives and works in Boulder, Colorado where he is a professor of art teaching photography at the University of Colorado at Boulder.