skip to Main Content
Download our current What's On Brochure | fortyfivedownstairs gallery/office hours: Tues – Fri 11am – 5pm, Sat 11am – 3pm
Loading Events

« All Events

The Delusions Run Thick

21 January, 2020 - 1 February, 2020

21 January – 1 February 2020

Tuesday – Friday 11am to 5pm,
Saturday 11am to 3pm
admission: Free

Chu embraces the power of fantasy, hollow ambition, and absurdity…

Mark Chu, Me as a Goalkeeper, a Vicar, a Nationalist, and a Cartoon Snail Called Barry, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 152cm x 122cm

Mark Chu, Me as a Trapeze Artist and Hanging Meat, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 152cm x 122cm

Mark Chu, Me Upside-Down on a Rollercoaster Clung to a South-Australian Red-Backed Sloth, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 152cm x 122cm

Mark Chu, Me as a Clear Plastic Replica of Rodin's The Thinker Peering Through Scissors by Crop Fields at Sunrise as Hot Iron Filings Cascade, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 152cm x 122cm

Traversing the postmodern landscape, imagination and identity become one. In The Delusions Run Thick Mark Chu embraces the power of fantasy, hollow ambition, and absurdity, in a series of large scale, self-portraits depicting the plural nature of who or what a person can (and cannot) be.

In one work, Chu becomes a goalkeeper, a vicar, a nationalist, and a cartoon snail called Barry, highlighting how persistent (and mollusk) transformation can be. Using virtual ideology, Chu’s kinetic and colorful work thrusts himself into an irreverent multiverse, where passion collides with awkwardness, ethics with violence, where object, life, idea and category are all flattened by paint and the hallucination of buzzwords. A conscious departure from modernist portraits, these paintings tap into just how demented the chaos of the zeitgeist can be, where new ideals inundate a global society still bound to its past.

In taking postmodernity as the earnest subject of these reflective works, Chu consciously engages in a metamodern practice. Practically, Chu layers colors with hundreds of handwritten buzzwords to create tangled non-representational forms, with no literal meaning. When shapes or objects emerge, he strengthens their form, applies motifs from the same universe. After repeating this several times, he inserts himself, then masks negative space with further color, leaving the final composition devoid of most textual marks, and a representational self-portrait in image.

Mark Chu’s painting is informed by multidisciplinary work, having written for The Good Food Guide, The Lifted Brow, and EuropeNow, and recorded as a solo pianist with the MSO and WASO. Mark has a fiction MFA from Columbia University and recently studied the Complex Systems Summer School at the Santa Fe Institute. Consequently, he is engaged in a research investigating color properties of words.

Mark has recently shown paintings in Melbourne, Shanghai and New York City. He frequently contributes to the Atlantic City Arts Foundation’s public art program, through murals, print, and installations in disused spaces. In 2019 Mark attended the Q Bank Residency in Queenstown, Tasmania. Later in 2020, Mark will collaborate with Michelin-starred restaurant Nouri, in Singapore, on works reflecting emotions uncommon to the fine dining experience. This is Mark’s ninth solo painting show, and he is based in New York City.


21 January, 2020
1 February, 2020
Event Category:
Event Tags:
, , ,


03 9662 9966


Mark Chu


fortyfivedownstairs gallery
45 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
+ Google Map
03 9662 9966
Back To Top
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!