• Issue
  • Nov 01, 2022

Henry Shum

Portrait of HENRY SHUM. All photos by Peter Chung for ArtAsiaPacific, unless otherwise stated.

What does it mean to paint from your imagination? And what exactly are you painting then? I put these questions to Henry Shum when I visited his working space in Hong Kong before realizing that these are almost unanswerable questions for the person who is doing the imagining, and the painting. Also, Shum wasn’t exactly prepared for an interview. I had only told the elusive artist when I met him briefly at an Empty Gallery opening in August that I wanted to see his new paintings before they were crated off to New York for a November solo show at Andrew Kreps Gallery. And then, there I was, asking prying questions to the unwitting artist and scribbling notes while my colleague Peter was snapping pictures of works-in-progress, and Kaitlin from Empty Gallery was tidying up his worktables. Hey, look, no cigar­­ettes here!

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