Sunny Chyun

I experience each painting as a coalescing of elusive perceptions, memories and meanings; a bringing to awareness of momentary possibilities emerging from the unconscious. My practice challenges pictorial conventions with the physicality of paint to resonate emotions. Instead of depicting specific objects and locales, my work continues in the tradition of Abstract Expressionism to explore the inherent, deconstructed nature of things. This method of painting and the imagery it produces symbolise the anarchic nature of the world that undermines all attempts at understanding it. Yet, in responding to the world around me in this way, I constitute its reality, an embodied reality that aspires beyond the contingencies of the body, a consciousness that aspires beyond the prison-house of self. Painting is therefore, for me, an alchemical process that seeks to physically transform instinct into self-reflection, the material into the spiritual.

Representationally, my works can be seen as attempts at an emotional and spiritual cartography, a rendering of the personal landscapes between being and becoming. These landscapes are populated with “vessels” that form a disjointed community of fluid identities. Perversely seductive figures, they seem to give the paintings theme and content, but they simultaneously represent the always already deconstructed nature of being. I see them as biomorphic vessels, bearing fragile, transient meanings, that evolve and crusade towards the paradisiacal.

In terms of composition, my repetitive layering system interweaves color to create depth and a provisional order. The obsessive-compulsive rituals of editing, reworking, removing and embellishing are a mechanism for processing existential anxiety. Each layer is the trace of a mental engagement to which the next layer responds, forming a material record of the qualia of vanishing memories, a history whose legibility is in question. Most of my works are double sided works that evolve according to the direction of lighting and installation, the layers converging to evoke growth, evolution, and decay of the self and the natural world.

On a sociological register, I use embellishments in my work to explore my own ambivalence towards commercial and mundane realities. These include elements like nail polish, nail art stickers and crystals; domestic activities such as quilting; and hobby art such as scrap booking, crafts and DIY fashion. Behind the seductive jewel tones and iridescent lure, the wrought surfaces of my paintings express a dislocated identity as it is partially constituted by distracting, decorative objects.

My ideas are drawn from the unconscious to reveal collectively understood concepts. They are a manifestation of my fixation with Carl Jung’s seminal theory of the collective unconscious and the synchronicity of ideas. Through my art I hope to challenge the viewer’s sensory perception, making her question the depicted image, eliciting different interpretations as the illusion is contextualized within different people’s realities, or indeed the same person’s multiple realities. My painterly process thus tries to create a transcendental gateway towards an ineffable 4th dimension in which all of these realities can converse.


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Contact Information

David Sanders
(323) 616-8026

Artist Links



Artist Work

Creativity Clusters (2019)
In my most recent artworks, I examine intricate patterns created by organic cells, spider webs and fireworks to offer various perspectives on brain synapses. The result is an expression of my emotional experience and the elaborate mapping of my creative process.

Where the Cloud Floats (2018)
Where the Cloud Floats creates a space for contemplation. Designed to hang from above, this work manifests the thoughts that hover over us while dreaming. It transforms the notion of mental preoccupations as weighty burdens to one of luminous, welcoming presence.

Fine Mess (2015)
The spider webs represent not just psychological enmeshment, but the cognitive process we experience that are unclear and shifting. Their intricate patterns are vehicles for cognitive cartography, like brain synapses that are unclear and shifting.

Multiple Collisions in Heavy Rain (2014)
A mural spanning many feet and even more hands.