Albert Chong is an contemporary artist working in the mediums of photography, installation, sculpture and artist books. His works have dealt directly with personal mysticism, spirituality, race, identity and numerous other topics as well as celebrating the beauty of images and objects. His main bodies of photographic work have been in the genres of still lifes in black and white and color.
These works range from playful juxtapositions and formal still lifes to works that represent and reanimate his family history. Here we learn about Aunt Winnie, Justice, Miss Peggy, we gain an insight into one family’s story from Jamaica’s past. Chong’s other works in the photographic medium include his Throne for the Ancestors Series and his portraits of artists friends and of Jamaicans in Various parts of Jamaica. He has also produced a new body of work titled The Projections. Albert Chong is also creates installation works many of which have been funded by various museums. One work in particular titled Winged Evocations was funded by Allen Memorial Art Museum in Oberlin, Ohio. This work created in 1998 has traveled widely since it opened to the public including representing Jamaica at the seventh Havana Biennial in Cuba and is presently in an exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art titled Defying Gravity. A more recent kinetic installation titled Throne for The Third Millennium 2003 was recently created for the exhibition Un/Familiar Territory at the San Jose Museum of Art in San Jose, California.
Albert Chong was born in Kingston, Jamaica, W. I. in 1958 and immigrated to the USA in 1977 at the age of 19 years. He lived in Brooklyn and attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City where he received a BFA with Honors in 1981. Chong became active in the New York art scene until 1988 when he left to go to Graduate School at the University of California in San Diego. He received his MFA from UCSD in 1991 and in the same year accepted a faculty appointment at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Chong is presently associate professor or art at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Chong has also taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York City from 1982 – 88. Mira Costa College in Oceanside California from 1989-91 and Rhode Island School of Design in Providence from 1996 –97. Chong has received various prestigious awards for his work in the visual arts. These include a 1992 Individual artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1998 he was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of photography and in the same year the Pollock Krasner Grant. Chong has also been commissioned by Absolut Vodka to add his work to the ongoing series in the work titled Absolut Chong. Chong’s art in whatever form has been a constant presence in Museums and Galleries internationally for the last two decades. His work has been intergral to the discourse around race, identity and spirituality in art.
Chong’s work is in collections public, private and corporate and has been featured in publications, books and periodicals too numerous to mention. He has represented his country Jamaica in four international biennials, including the 2001 Venice Benniale, the 1998 Sao Paulo Biennale and the seventh Havana Biennal in Cuba in 2000.