This Vancouver artist’s massive 3D art will take your breath away (PHOTOS)

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Fiona Tang
Photo: Fiona Tang / Facebook

Fiona Tang follows her heart.

Tang, 32, is a Vancouver-based artist who creates everything from towering, immersive drawings to digital art to clay models. She typically draws wildlife, and notes that her compassion for the animal kingdom compels her to choose animals as subjects.

Tang’s large-scale pieces offer an engaging perspective between the viewer and her art, which she hopes gives them a sense of wonder.

“Through interacting with these animals, the audience is made aware of the animal’s existence, and I hope to reverse the passive relationship between the viewer and artwork,” says Tang.

“I always turn to nature (for walks in the forest or meditation at the beach) whoever I’m stuck.  I also watch a lot of animal documentaries – Sir David Attenborough’s are my absolute favourites and he is my hero – to seek out my next animal.”

Tang often works with charcoal, chalk pastel and acrylic in the style of trompe l’oeil. However, she often begins by creating a clay model to use as a reference. And while her work might look the fruit of a lifelong dedication to fine art, Tang pursued her craft as an adult.

“I was actually pursing a degree in science at university, but I wasn’t fulfilled by what I was doing. I started dropping classes, and eventually found my passion in art,” she explains.

“Skills are something that you can build. Passion isn’t something that you can force.”

Tang explains how she told her parents that she was a lesbian on the same day that she told them she was dropping her science degree to pursue a career in fine arts. And while it was hard for them to accept at first, she notes that they are fully supportive now.

Tang completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Emily Carr University in May 2014 with a Drawing Major, but she says her science background helps her understand her subjects on a deeper level; she makes a point to research animal behaviour and anatomy before tackling her subjects. However, her work

“The animals help to represent abstracted forms of battles, struggles, or successes in my life. I retain the raw beauty in their forms, the energy, and the story behind the animal to my fullest capability through research. My subject and I truly become one through the act of drawing and my feelings are translated through the intense gestural mark makings and the use of trompe l’oeil,” she describes.

By using her skill with light and shadow, Tang’s awe-inspiring pieces appear to come right off the wall. Along with their impressive size, she hopes that her art makes viewers feel vulnerable enough to connect with her animal subjects. Further, she hopes that her works will encourage people a deeper connection between people and animals in general.

“We aren’t separate from them. We don’t have a second home.”

The Art of Fiona Tang 

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“The Gryphon” (charcoal on wood panel, 4.6 feet x 3.25 feet), commissioned by @gryphondevelopment . Gryphon (Griffin) is a mythical creature that is half eagle and half lion. Gryphons are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. In my version, it is half harpy eagle and half lion, guarding Earth (you can see the Gryphon holding a globe) and it’s standing alone in a foreign/mythical landscape. Taiwan is in the centre of the globe, which is where the head company Jinray is at and where Gryphon branched off from. Jinray’s logo is a lion, so when Gryphon branched off, they gave it wings (and it became Gryphon), which I think is very poetic. There are two different stories behind this commission piece: For me, the Gryphon is standing alone, strong and fearless, to guard and protect Earth which is the most valuable treasure that we possessed. You can also see it as Gryphon the company, having the world in its palm! ************************************************************It’s been an amazing exhibition with The Gryphon Musée. They are super supportive and loving! I can’t thank them enough for this amazing opportunity and exposure. The time at the Musée has been so fun that I can’t believe it’s over already! My biggest thank you to the staffs of The Gryphon Musée and The Gryphon Development. ?? I hope to collaborate with you again in the future! #drawing #art #charcoal #fionatangart #arts_help #artist_features #wildlife #wwf #wildlifeart #mural #trompeloeil #3D #illusion #passion #myart #artist #animal #artcollective #artnerd #supportart #art_conquest #griffin #gryphon #mythicalcreatures #mythicalcreature #mythology #myth #fionatang

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Surrey Art Gallery Association will have its first Thursday Artist Talk of the fall season with Tang at the Surrey Art Gallery on Sept. 5 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. titled “Drawing Without Fear.” Admission is free.

Follow Tang on Instagram and Facebook to see her new works.