Sze Tsung Leong: Horizons

May 2-June 5 2015

Landscape photography (and painting, for that matter) traditionally begin with
the horizon line, where earth and sky meet. Within Sze Tsung Leong’s work, the
horizon line becomes the entire purpose of the photograph’s existence. Leong’s
choice of the horizon line as the visual thread throughout the entire Horizons
series is executed with extraordinary consistency, as is his use of an almost
colorless palette.  These photographs remind us of our rapidly shrinking
world, and even though these photographs were made in locations around the
world it is amazing how closely they connect. The places in Leong’s
photographs include large areas of natural terrain Yellowstone National Park,
the Maasai Mara, the Icelandic sea), urban skylines (Shanghai, Chicago, New
York City), and symbols of human culture (the Egyptian Pyramids, the Great
Wall, the Acropolis). 

Sze Tsung Leong still uses negative film and makes all of his prints in a
darkroom. The artist believes that “light projected through a negative onto
paper provides more continuous tone than is possible with the digital
process.” Leong’s work connects both with the legendary landscape
photographers of the 19th century such as Felice Beato and John Thomson who
photographed extensively in China and India as well as contemporary
photographers such as Thomas Struth and Elger Esser. The resulting impression
is classical yet modern and entirely elegant.

“People tend to recognize places they’ve never been, thinking they’re places
close to home,” says the Mexican-born British American lensman. “In a way,
despite the scale, the photographs seem to make the world smaller.” 

McCarver Root says of Leong’s work: “There are many great artistic concepts
but it is a rare thing for an artist to continually produce work where the
results are so utterly consistent. I really admire Sze Tsung’s devotion to the
craft of photography as well. His approach is meticulous.”

Sze Tsung Leong’s work has been exhibited internationally and is included in
the permanent collections of the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,
Museum of Modern Art, New York, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh,
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D. C., Museum of Fine Arts,
Houston, and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, among others. Sze
Tsung Leong is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
Fellowship. The artist is based in New York and Los Angeles.