'Technophobia', Gordon Cheung

Colourful scene with fire, cliffs, mountains and clouds

Financial Times, conte pastels, ink, acrylic gel and acrylic spray on canvas, 274.5 x 456cm, 2005

Artist's statement

The communications and digital revolutions have collapsed our notions of time, space and distance into an instant, reconfiguring them into a state of flux. The Utopian euphoria of the ‘90s over digital frontiers, information superhighways, cyberspace and global villages gave way to technophobic hysteria, foreseeing apocalypse resulting from the Millennium Bug and the ‘dot com bubble’ crash. In 'Technophobia' the ‘Financial Times’ stock listings are used as a metaphor for a globalised virtual space that literally saturates and affects all aspects of our lives.

'Technophobia' can be understood as a hyper-painting-by-numbers, depicting a virtual landscape that oscillates between Utopia and Dystopia, Heaven and the Underworld. The painting’s fragmentary, multi-layered nature seeks to provide pathways to reveal the fractures in the glossy surfaces of modern life, enabling us to slip beneath these to the underbelly of our world and the forces that shape it. 'Technophobia' reflects the techno-sublime, where information overwhelms the individual, causing a flickering perception of reality that blurs between the virtual and actual.


Gordon Cheung was born in London in 1975. He studied there at Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design 1994-98 and the Royal College of Art 1999-2001. His exhibitions include NLK Soho House New York 2005 and The British Art Show 6 BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art Gateshead 2005-06 (touring). He features in Arrivals/Departures at Urbis Manchester in 2007. Forthcoming solo exhibitions include the Laing Art Gallery Newcastle 2007 and the Chinese Art Centre Manchester 2008. He is the recipient of a number of awards and has undertaken several residencies.