Food Art - thomas C. Chung

I absolutely love food and absolutely love all kinds of art so I jumped at the chance to interview Australian artist Thomas C. Chung for the Sydney Fringe Festival Blog.Thomas  who so cleverly combines the two gives us an insight into his quirky and fun world and chats about his shows at this year's Sydney Fringe titled:
 'Some Things Just Feel The Same...'

Look Out for the fairy floss stand!

* Original interview published on the Sydney Fringe Festival Official Blog* Check it out here

Super cute! 

Hi Thomas!, Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to what you are doing now?
Hi Erin! I'm an Australian artist, originally born in Hong Kong, and in 2004 I graduated from COFA (College of Fine Arts) in Paddington.To pinpoint which exact moment led me to be doing what I am today, is almost too tricky to do. But my fondest memory of it was on my first day of Kindergarten, when I first met a girl I liked. I was walking across the classroom to say hi to her, when I bumped into a book by the name of "The Little Prince". I didn't know how to read it at first, but over the years when I eventually did (instead of just staring at the pictures all day long), that book changed my life and how I lived.

Tell us about your involvement in this year's Fringe, what can audiences expect?
To tell an audience to unexpect the unexpected, can sometimes be misleading (people can have super-dooper imaginations sometimes), so I'll not say that.I can tell them, however, to just come by and enjoy themselves. Being honest with how they feel would also be a good start. My performance piece is a food-based one, and I'll be at 3 different locations for 3 separate dates; on September 9, September 11 and lastly on October 2.

What influences your work?
The Little Prince, as you know was a very big one. But books and films by people such as Dr. Suess (Green Eggs & Ham), Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes), Hayao Miyazaki (Laputa), Oliver Jeffers (The Way Back Home) & Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) - their ideas of quirkiness, tinged with philosophy & wonderment, never fail to inspire me whenever I see their creations.

Do you tend to work on multiple pieces at a time?
I work thematically, and most definitely with many pieces at a time. My artistic practice is slowly unfolding, almost like that of a storybook. I started out as a painter and some of my favourite pieces are these, sculpted using toothpicks, making cake-icing like paintings. When these are still drying though, that's when I make drawings. And when it's snowy cold, that's when I begin knitting & crocheting.

What inspires you?
Anything really. It could be reading the back of a cereal box, the sound of a lady's heels clicking by, or the smell of the clear winter air. If it fits into the story that I'm doing my best to tell, I'll think about it. And if it's very good, then you'll see a part of it in an upcoming exhibition.

Which is your favourite part of this exhibition/performance and why?
The exhibition will be a performance, so in that sense, none of it is actually made until the people begin to see it. When it does happen though, I'll be keen to see if people understand what it is I'm trying to do - to see if it'll work. If not, I'll still be glad, knowing they'll have enjoyed themselves with a bit of sweetness in their tummy.

We've noticed that food features in much of your recent work, why food?
When I was a kid, food was kind of a friend to me. As I grew older however, it was also an enemy, relying on it as I did for comfort whenever I felt lonely.These feelings of wanting to feel loved, of knowing you are you good, are hard to come by when you're a growing child. Kids also tend to hide a lot of what it is they actually feel, and the thoughts they're thinking about are as deep (if not deeper than) as those of us who have grown older. Food in this sense, says a lot about how a person is feeling. And by making work about food (something people can relate to, as well being a constant in everyone's lives), I'm doing my best to challenge what it is people actually see - is it really just a source of nourishment, or is it someone asking wanting to know if the world is going to be okay?

Tell us about the fairy floss stand?
It's going to be myself, a handy helper, and fresh fairy floss being made from the fairy floss stand. I'll be in costume, you'll come visit, we'll have a nice chat and the kid inside of you will be happy you paid attention, and left the grown up to be grumpy by themselves.

Describe this exhibition in 3 words...
Very good stuff.
WHEN:You can still catch Thomas at his 3rd and final show this coming weekend
Sunday 2nd October
@ Addison Road Centre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville, Sydney 
TIME: Between 1-5pm
 180 Minutes

To find out more about Thomas visit his website Thomas C. Chung
Photos supplied by Thomas C. Chung


  1. I love the Little Prince! It was one of our compulsory reads in primary school and it has changed the way I look at life forever too. Have since read every one of AdSE's books.

    What a great guy with some awesome ideas!

    ***Comment on my posts during Pink October to win an Olympus camera***

  2. What a lovely exhibit and he is very creative indeed. Thanks for the interview Erin!

  3. i love the carton of eggs, so creative and adorable.

  4. The egg carton is just out of this world!

  5. Hi Erin,
    Thanks for your comment on my blog, sorry it has taken forever for me to respond. Nice to meet you too. I have somehow lost all the time I spent looking at others blogs, although don't know where it went...
    The eggs are so cute! I never thought I would say that about eggs.

  6. Oh, I love that The Little Prince had an impact! I adore that book, and bought the in-French version in Paris last year. My goal is to one day read it properly in French :) And yes yes yes fairy floss! So much happiness in this post :)


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