Painting in positive spirits

Profile of fourth-year fine art student Francesca Pang

Francesca Pang has been painting since she was three years old.
Francesca Pang has been painting since she was three years old.

Fourth-year fine art student Francesca Pang uses art as a means of emotional expression, and also as a way to let loose and have fun. “The fact that I get to make art is a fun thing to be doing,” Pang said. “And I love the fact that I get to go to my studio and paint in my space and blast music.”

Her work — which hangs in her Ontario Hall studio — is big and bright. Showing elements of fantasy and symbolism, such as a colourful rooster-headed human in a dining room, there’s an eye-catching exploration of interior space. It seems to provoke the viewer to wonder what’s reallyinside.

One element of Pang’s work that really stands out is the lightheartedness. Much like Pang herself, the artwork is thought-provoking, but playful. It doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Pang said she’s still finding her voice as an artist by experimenting with different themes that fascinate her.

One theme she’s particularly drawn to is the concept of space and location.

“I like to look at spaces and how we fit into them and how each person can perceive a place differently,” Pang said.

“I think a lot about interiors, and I start with from somewhere familiar like and indoor environment and then add elements of the outdoors.”

A theme Pang said she started exploring last year is the idea of “things on display”, with a strong emphasis on depicting windows in her work.

“I like to show things inside and outside through different layers of paint,” Pang said. “And layers which aren’t possible in the real world.”

Window imagery evokes her sense of curiosity, she said. She always finds herself wanting to look into other people’s windows, wondering what they’re doing.

Pang considers herself foremost a painter and a printmaker — although she’s relatively new to printmaking, having only started experimenting with the medium last year.

When it comes to painting, Pang works mostly in oil paints. She said her expertise comes from her having started painting at three years old.

What she’s gained the most from her time in the fine art program is a greater ability to think critically about art, she said.

“I’ve learned a lot more about research as an artist, and putting thought into developing a work instead of just painting to make it look pretty,” Pang said.

“Now I really think about different periods in art and how I fit into that place, and also trying to see how my work is going to be different from what’s already been made.”

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