Artnet/ Painter’s Journal
October, 1999

by Michael Brennan

Theresa Chong’s beautifuly new woodcut drawings occupy the project room at Danese. The mood of these work, which have a near-black range of color from slate to charcoal, is both reserved and ecstatic. Gridded images are rendered on multiple overlaid sheets of fibrous rice paper, which gives the drawings an unusual luster and depth of surface.

Chong, who was trained in music, has developed a lexicon of symbols based upon the musical notation of David Popper, These symbols hover in an uncertain and mutable place between language and image, in spite of the rigor of her constructed system the works are priced from $2,500 to $4,000.

Some of the grids form domino patterns while others disappear in the opaque weft of the rice paper, which sometimes looks like etched stone. Many of the drawings have the same cascading effect as the green glowing Asiatic character in last summer’s film The Matrix. It is possible that Chong’s invented code might even resemble the neural processing language that our brains use- something that biologists call “mindscript.”